Centralization of data simplifies many things. But as we have learned from recent data breaches it also simplifies the mass download and abuse of this data. In the interest of society it therefore has to become the duty of computer scientists to ensure that data can be kept as much as possible under the control of the subjects of the data. We believe that federated distributed systems are the key to achieving this goal, as they can be made to share data only on an as-needed basis, as defined by the involved individuals. Through mutual support and coordination, these distributed systems can gain many of the advantages of centralized systems, such as defense against malicious activities.