Microsoft tests Project Bali, a privacy-focused tool to control personal data collection

Microsoft Project Bali

Microsoft Research is currently testing a new control panel which could enable users to manage the data the company collects about them.

Known as Project Bali, the tool is currently undergoing private beta testing. It promises to not only give users the option of managing and controlling the data collected about them, but also -- intriguingly -- the ability to monetize it.

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The project -- details of which have been shared by ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley who learned of it via Twitter -- comes at a time when there is greater interest than ever in the subject of privacy, particularly when it comes to data collection by technology firms.

A tweet by the user Longhorn sheds a little light on what Project Bali is all about:

On the About page for the project, Microsoft describes it as a "new personal data bank which puts users in control of all data collected about them". It also says that "the bank will enable users to store all data (raw and inferred) generated by them. It will allow the user to visualize, manage, control, share and monetize the data".

Little else is known about Project Bali at the moment, and it is still possible that a finished product will not see the light of day. But if the tool does appear, it's something that is likely to be well-received by Microsoft's customers.

Image credit: Longhorn

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