Add a creative commons license to your body data to help others
After joining a government conference last week, I realised there is more to the quantified self movement than learning from your own body data to improve just yourself. The data we are collecting can be useful for the health of people worldwide.
By providing the data we collect from our self tracking to scientists and yes, even the government, better research and health policy can be made. But to do this we need a structured way of giving up our data – and Creative Commons is the answer.
The Creative Commons license isn’t just for images, blog content or video. It stretches far beyond that, with Science Commons and Health Commons powered by the Creative Commons license. So your body data is already applicable.
Commercialism is an issue though. Do you really want companies making money out of your personal data? Well, it depends on your end goal – and for me, it is using the information I collect to help better others, whether or not the company that requires the data is out there to make a profit. So I propose the following license for your body data: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Which looks like this:
Update: Commenter Eric points out that Creative Commons recommends the CC0 license for data. Find out more about this license here.
This is only the start. Once we begin to share our body data, there is then the further issue that devices are not uniform, nor is the data they pump out. It may be tricky for research scientists to pull the information together.
What is next is the tracking device companies themselves buying into open body data, giving all users the option of sharing their data for research purposes. Uniform metrics should also be used, no Nike Fuel points please. And maybe there is a buisness opportunity here too – become the company that pulls all this information together in aggregate.