COEL Standard

Coelition has driven the creation of the COEL Standard to provide interoperability, transparency and open access.

The COEL Standard specification development is managed with the OASIS framework ( OASIS is a non-profit consortium that drives the development, convergence and adoption of open standards for the global information society.

The COEL specifications provide interoperability at the data layer with a knowledge base and data model. The roles and responsibilities of all the different actors are clearly defined alongside the data flows. It sets out the minimum requirements for a safe, operational ecosystem – leaving as much room as possible for innovation and competition. Finally, it is an interface specification that only defines how data is to be exchanged.


Knowledge base & data model

The knowledge base within the specification is a holistic, hierarchical taxonomy (see Visualising Life). It allows any type of event in our daily lives to be recorded in the same way.

All data are stored as discrete events called Behavioural Atoms. These can record when and where an even took place as well as meta-data and context information. Each Atom is uniquely coded to an individual.

This is semi-structured data (also known as micro-structured) – it preserves the privacy compliance benefits of structured data while enabling the insight generation capacity of unstructured data

These aspects of the specification are described in ‘Classification of Everyday Behaviour’ and ‘Behavioural Atom Protocol’.

Rules & responsibilities

The COEL Standard is a principles-led specification that describes an entire ecosystem. The careful definition of the different data types and actors within the the ecosystem allows the data flows to be clearly described to data subjects and regulators. These definitions also form the basis for the audit approaches and allow actors to understand their responsibilities.

Coelition has the role of the Identity Authority (IDA) in the Coelition ecosystem. This is a regulation function that generates and validates the unique pseudonymous keys that are used for all Behavioural Atom transactions.

These aspects of the specification are described in ‘Roles, Principles, and Ecosystem’ and ‘Identity Authority Interface’.

Interface specifications

There are core interface specifications for managing individuals within the ecosystem and querying Behavioural Atom data.

The management interface allows individuals to be added to a Service Provider, to be forgotten and to register devices that create Atoms.

The query interface defines the method for searching and retrieving Atoms for an Individual.

These aspects of the specification are described in ‘Minimum Management Interface’ and ‘Public Query Interface’.

Visualising Life

Explore the visualisation of the Classisifcation of Everyday living that sits at the heart of the COEL standard.


These developer resources explain the sequence and details of the operations that are required to interact within the Coelition ecosystem.

Data to Life

This book describes the background to Coelition; it provided impetus for the early stages of Coelition.

Policy Repository

Coelition provides an open repository for members to post privacy policies for their services.

MyData Ecosystem

MyData defines a human-centric approach to data access and control that makes the individual the point of integration.