Introducing Open Mustard Seed

ID3, working in cooperation with M.I.T. Media Lab and RR Donnelley, has produced a short video introducing the Open Mustard Seed platform (OMS). OMS is a new open source platform that gives individuals genuine control over their own personal information. The system is designed to let people collect and share data in secure, transparent and accountable ways – enabling trusted social and economic relationships to flourish.

The OMS platform seeks to overcome many vexing problems with the handling of personal data today – namely, that individuals cannot know how their data is used, where it is kept or who controls the information. People understandably feel watched, manipulated, and distrustful. But, by giving people the ability to share specific data at the appropriate time and place – and in dynamic, context-specific ways – Open Mustard Seed provides the basis for new forms of trusted social engagement and commercial activity. Personal data is not freely circulated to just anyone, but only with the people authorized to see the information.

By using people’s personal “data trails” as unique identifiers – a digital credential of unsurpassed security – OMS eliminates the need for passwords and mind-numbing log-ins. The platform leverages social trust in digital environments, enabling us to interact intimately and securely at a global scale. Buyers and sellers no longer need to rely on middlemen, toll-takers and third-party authorities to interact. This not only facilitates more trustworthy personal interactions, but more efficient and secure markets.
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At a time when the use and abuse of Big Data has spooked people about the trustworthiness of digital communications, OMS provides a welcome solution to the challenges of managing personal data in responsible, secure ways, and in ways that individuals wish to share their personal information. Other partners in the OMS project include MIT KIT Internet Trust, Hub Culture, Afrotech (Switzerland), and Mobile Territorial Lab (Italy). The OMS animated video was produced by H-FARM, a venture incubator based near Venice, Italy.

More information on OMS can be found at the ID3 website, at