Our Data Mutual will be an organisation owned by us - and you, if you choose to join. We are a new institution, here to look after our data on behalf of ourselves.

We have a simple manifesto:

Our manifesto


Our data has a value. We want a cut of that value - and a say in how it's used.


We want our data to be used for good.


No one is responsible for protecting us from abuse of our data, so we're creating 'our data mutual' to protect ourselves.

About us

Our Data Mutual will be a mutual society; an organisation owned by its members. That’s us.

It means we get to decide how the organisation is run. We're the ones who receive the benefit of the revenue it earns - not external shareholders.

We believe that only a mutual society can operate in the interests of the population of the UK. A state or shareholder-owned organisation will, by its very nature, seek to serve its owners' self-interests. For a shareholder-owned company, that would mean maximising the profits earned from the trade of our data for a few individuals, while a government-owned or charitable organisation would fail to maximise the value of our data for us.

This website is the first stage in the process of creating Our Data Mutual. We’re launching with a pilot soon, but we also want to encourage you to register your interest in joining to help us build our case for funding through the start-up process.

How it works

We are creating a platform for the management, monetisation, control, protection and ‘use for good’ of our data. Fundamentally we'll be presented with a tool that lets us define how comfortable we are with the trading of our data - and with which types of organisation. Our choices will determine the value of our data to us.


Our Data Mutual will be responsible for brokering the deals with organisations that want to buy your data. We'll hold these organisations to a code of practice to make sure your data is used responsibly according to your preferences.

We want to create a relationship with advertisers that means you're offered products you're actually interested in. That way, advertisers also waste less of their money trying to sell products to people that aren't interested.

Here's an example of how this might work:

Mortgage lenders spend vast sums trying to sell you a mortgage at times when you're already tied into a three-year deal. By sharing your data we can let mortgage lenders know that you're not ‘in market’. Then, at the appropriate time, we can let them know that, for a limited period, you would like to receive offers from mortgage lenders with products suitable for your circumstances.

Currently a mortgage lender would pay around £150 to an intermediary for that information. We propose to take that money and use it for our benefit instead.

That means money in our pockets for letting the mortgage lender know we're interested in a mortgage. It also means money for Our Data Mutual to enable it to function and pursue our manifesto.

Data for good

Every day we leave a trail of data behind us - social data from Facebook, browser data from visiting websites, debit card data from the weekly shop, Oyster card data from a tube journey, number plate recognition from speed cameras, phone data, and so on. The list is already endless and growing every day.

At the moment each individual part of this data exists somewhere apart from us, controlled knowingly or unknowingly by a private or public organisation. Contained in this data is the ability to help us and society.

One often cited example is being able to tell if a person is developing Type 2 diabetes from shopping data at your supermarket. It sounds impossible but it's apparently true. Another is using Twitter to track the spread of flu outbreaks, or combining records of different patients' reactions to drug combinations to identify unknown side effects. Again, the list is endless, but we're only just scratching the surface.

Our Data Mutual will seek to actively support this work - and, importantly, try to influence research to focus on issues that our members care about.

Latest blog news

Frequently asked questions


Why should I join?

You don't have to, but we think things need to change. Everyone that joins gives us greater power to redress the balance of control over our data.


So you just want to sell my data then?

Yes and no. We want to change the way advertising works so it becomes better and less intrusive. We think it's something we can have control over; that can actually earn us some money in the process. We're not naive enough to think we can make it perfect, but no one wins at the moment - least of all the consumer.


What's a mutual?

Mutual societies have been around for over a hundred years now. They were formed by people wanting to help themselves access services like healthcare before the advent of the NHS. The purpose of a mutual is to raise funds from its membership or customers (collectively called its members), which can then be used to provide common services to all members of the organisation or society. A mutual is therefore owned by, and run for, the benefit of its members. It has no external shareholders to pay in the form of dividends. In our case our data will be the primary source of 'funds' we contribute.


I don't care about earning money from my data. should I still join?

It's entirely up to you. You can choose to 'donate' your data and, again, you can choose whether Our Data Mutual seeks to monetise that. If you're happy for your data to be monetised, we would be delighted to use that money for good.


How will you protect me from abuse of my data?

It's early days but we would like to investigate a range of areas such as: Development of detection systems that use your data to identify breaches and trigger protection measures. Build a data usage policy that's defined by you, not the terms and conditions of the company you're buying from. Simplify terms and conditions. Lobby government and other organisations on their use of data. Invest in new technologies.


Sounds exciting! How do I get involved?

At this stage we're looking for organisations and people that believe this needs to happen and can help us raise the funds needed. We're not ready to accept data yet, but if you'd like to pledge your support then drop us a line.

Our supporters & Interested Parties

University of Bradford

Open Data Institute – Leeds Node

University of Leeds

contact information

  • Address

    Marshall's Mill, Marshall Street, Leeds, LS11 9YJ

  • Phone

    +44 113 887 8200

  • Working Time

    Mon - Fri: 09:00 - 17:00 H 00 - 24h

Contact us