P.C. Rossin College of
Engineering and Applied Science
BioE grad is CEO of Universal Basic Data Income, which allows people to profit by sharing anonymized, aggregated insights from their data

Bioengineering/biomedical engineering alum Dana Budzyn ’18 is the cofounder and CEO of Universal Basic Data Income (UBDI), a platform that enables the secure and ethical exchange and monetization of data within the sphere of market research. 

UBDI has sparked media buzz with its novel approach to data sharing, a two-app system that lets users safely connect their data from various online accounts, and then, with the user’s permission, pays them to share some of that data with companies or researchers interested in that information. To do this securely, UBDI has partnered with digi.me, an app that consolidates online user data into one encrypted location, giving the user maximum control of where their information goes.

Budzyn recently sat down with Molly Wood for Marketplace Tech, an NPR podcast meant to demystify the digital economy through conversations with key players in the tech industry. 

“Part of privacy, which some people seem to forget, is about choice” Budzyn told Wood. “You should have ownership over your data, and you should be able to choose for yourself.” For Budzyn, UBDI has provided that solution, and is ultimately seen as a step in the right direction toward revolutionizing the data economy.

Budzyn shared this same idea with Chaya Weiner from Authority Magazine while talking about her journey to build her company. 

“If someone or something is going to own your data,” Budzyn said in the interview, “it should be the person producing it, and you should be able to choose where and with whom it’s shared and to enjoy the economic value generated from such a transaction. And thus, UBDI was born.”

UBDI, in collaboration with digi.me, has received national attention from outlets like CNN and USA Today for its impact in the world of data sharing and privacy. Budzyn has also been featured in Women to Watch Media with Susan Rocco and has spoken at TEDxPasadena on owning your digital self and monetizing your personal data. 

Explore more UBDI press coverage, here.

—Isabela Madrigal '20 is a student writer for the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science.

More about Dana Budzyn

Dana Budzyn graduated from Lehigh in 2018 with a degree in bioengineering and biomedical engineering and has since built a company focused on creating positive change in the field of safe and secure data sharing. She has been called a thought leader in data privacy and empowerment, and has become an example for other young millennial females in male-dominated fields. During her time at Lehigh, Budzyn interned for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and won first place for her work at the University of Sydney’s MedTech Innovation Competition. Budzyn has also been published by the International Society for Optics and Photonics for her work using delta-doped silicon arrays to measure fluorescence and reflectance in ultraviolet, visible, and near infrared lights.

Dana Budzyn

Dana Budzyn ’18 is cofounder and CEO of UBDI, which announced the launch of the first ethically-sourced data monetization program for individuals in the $50 billion market research industry in early 2019, according to a press release.