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Patent: To Carry Your Identity Outside of Your Self
Patent: To Carry Your Identity Outside of Your Self | dal_ftw_txbz, Irving, Olivier Le Neel, patent, 8219771,Portable device, storing, private information, medical, financial, emergency, STMicroelectronics,

Olivier Le Neel of Irving received U.S. Patent 8,219,771 earlier this month for “Portable Device for Storing Private Information such as Medical, Financial or Emergency Information.”

Texas Business Patent of the Day:  A Texas resident has devised a way of storing who you are in a place other than your brian.

Olivier Le Neel of Irving received U.S. Patent 8,219,771 earlier this month for “Portable Device for Storing Private Information such as Medical, Financial or Emergency Information.”

Le Neel applied for the patent almost six years ago on October 19, 2006.

The patent assignee is STMicroelectronics Inc. of Coppell, Texas.

Le Neel’s invention relates to portable data storage devices and, more particularly, to a portable mass storage device for storing private information, according to the patent document.

Examples of such private information include personal medical information, financial information and emergency information. 

Persons are associated with a tremendous amount of private information. By this it is meant information that is typically unique to the person and is very often sensitive personal information that the person generally would prefer to keep to themselves and make available to others only in certain situations. An example of this would be personal medical information such as medical histories both of themselves and family members, medical conditions, treatment histories, drug and allergy information, and the like. Another example would be personal financial information such as account information, investment information, balance and transaction information, strategy information, access codes, numbers and authorizations.

Yet another example would be emergency information such as an identification of an emergency contact or an identification of relatives with address and phone number data. A still further example would be personal information such as birth records, passport data, drivers license data, identification data, social security data, immigration data, and the like. 

In any case, the voluminous amount of private information associated with each person could occupy many pages of paper and in such a format would be most difficult for the person to carry with them. Historically, this issue has been addressed in part by having the private information be stored and maintained by the person and/or a third party.

For example, a person's medical information is most often stored and maintained by that person's physician or local hospital. Likewise, a person's financial information is most often stored and maintained by that person's bank, financial institution, investment counselor, or lawyer. It is also quite common for persons to additionally keep such financial information themselves in personal files kept at home. This is contrasted with personal medical information which is rarely if ever kept to any significant degree by the patient. With respect to emergency information and personal information, this information is, like financial information, most often maintained by the person in their own files, although many persons additionally store such information in the hands of family members and lawyers. 

Nonetheless, it will be noted that most of the information is not physically carried by the person as they go about their daily business. The amount of information is simply too large to conveniently carry. Additionally, even if the information could be carried by the person, it is generally not secured and thus if misplaced or stolen could give a criminal access to certain pieces of information which would facilitate criminal and/fraudulent activity, or grant a third party access to private information which the person would prefer not to be known by others (such as net worth financial data, or medical condition data). 

Although an infrequent occurrence, there are times when it is critical that the private information be available to the person or authorized third parties. Take, for example, the situation where the person is traveling for business or pleasure and suffers a medical emergency. In such a situation it would be helpful to a caregiver if that person's medical information were immediately available for review. As discussed above, most persons do not carry their medical histories with them and thus the caregiver would have to rely on the person's memory to recall their medical history, or wait until the person's doctor could be contacted. This problem is further complicated if the person's medical condition renders them incapacitated (for example, unconscious) and thus unable to actively participate in the rendering of medical aid. 

A need exists in the art for a way to allow persons to store large amounts of private information, such as personal medical information, financial information and/or emergency information, in a portable device which would not only provide for the secure storage of the private information but also allow the person to specify in advance, and thus exercise control over, the conditions under which third parties would be able to access the securely stored private information from the portable device. 

Le Neel’s device comprises a portable housing capable of being carried by a certain person, and a circuit within the portable housing. The circuit comprises a memory for storing private data concerning that certain person, a circuit operable to effectuate storage of the private data in the memory in a secure manner, and a processing unit operable to control access to the memory for purposes of reading private data concerning the certain person from the memory and storing private data concerning the certain person to the memory. The conditions under which access to the memory for read and write operations with respect to the private data is permitted are governed by parameters that are specified by the certain person to whom the stored private data concerns. 

In another embodiment, a system comprises a portable device for storing private data concerning a certain person, a personal computing device; and a communications link interconnecting the personal computing device and the portable device, the communications link carrying private data concerning that certain person for transmission to the portable device or for transmission from the portable device. The portable device comprises a circuit within a portable housing comprising a memory for storing the private data concerning that certain person, a circuit operable to effectuate storage of the private data in the memory in a secure manner, and a processing unit operable to control access to the memory for purposes of reading private data concerning the certain person from the memory and storing private data concerning the certain person to the memory. The conditions under which access to the memory for read and write operations with respect to the private data is permitted are governed by parameters specified and entered by the certain person to whom the stored private data concerns through personal computing device and communicated over the communications link.