Scott Rosenberg’s take on Hailstorm seems to echo many others. He focuses on Microsoft’s offer to aggregate your personal data for a fee. Naturally, there are lots of downsides to entering into this sort of arrangement with a big company. It seems like if they really wanted to empower users, they’d provide an application that enables the user to store all of the data on their local system and an interface that enables the user to share only the data necessary with third parties in a way that the user controls. They could then provide some sort of net-based backup service for the data that stores an encrypted copy of the data in a central location so that the user doesn’t risk losing it, and also doesn’t have to worry about Microsoft abusing it in some way. Using some established, standard system of authentication, the encrypted copy of the data could also be shared among multiple computers used by the user.