Google’s Schmidt sees a need for a data “platform” — but his company might not launch it


It’s becoming clearer by the day that technology should make data accessible and understandable to not just data scientists but everyone. While speaking at the Economist’s Information Forum in San Francisco on Tuesday, Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google, (s goog) went one step further in calling for another important element that must emerge: a data “platform” for personal data in aggregate.

“The way we create wealth is by creating platforms,” Schmidt said. For a data platform, application programming interfaces (APIs) can be core ingredients. That means data coming off of countless connected devices can be continuously pushed into to a common place, presumably onto something as accessible and intuitive as Google.

But Google might not end up hosting this platform. “The back-end services will get standardized, probably, by some companies that have not yet been founded,” Schmidt said.

The trick is to ensure that personal data remains anonymous…

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