In a world where knowledge is power, your personal data is constantly being sold to marketing companies and contributing to statistics used for research and product development.
Google and Facebook, for example, are constantly profiling you behind the scenes, using your data to make targeted adverts more effective. Did you know you could download your entire Google and Facebook data, including pages/sites you have visited, access usage information and view other personal information?
Some analysts believe that on average, the 0.7 GB of data you produce every day is valued at hundreds of dollars. As technology continues to develop, our mobile devices are able to collect more data such as locations visited, places you have eaten, so the potential to profit from this data is rapidly growing.
Companies like Acxiom collect data from several sources to create databases of thousands of customer traits and basic information. Data is then sold to marketers, non-profits, and researchers.
Who is your personal data valuable to?
Insurers, large pharmaceutical companies and researchers buy data in relation to public health to better understand their target demographic’s lifestyle and ensure research and/or testing is reliable.
Personal data regarding your interests and purchase history can be used to analyze and forecast future market trends. For example, ownership of a games console, regular purchasing of games and viewing of future console news can help predict the stock required for the launch of the new console.
Benefits of blockchain
Blockchain can put you in charge, by providing a secure platform for you to store your data on, while giving you the choice of who you sell or share data with.
Blockchain is set to provide a private, secure platform that is easily accessible by trusted parties with the ease of incorporating cryptocurrencies for payments, especially with privacy coins providing another level of confidentiality.
Personally identifying information can be removed from data before it is encrypted and stored on the network. Data can then be shared with companies by providing the privacy key in exchange for currency or just to a good cause.
Datum and Datawallet are two companies so far that are looking to bring power back to the people, by putting them back in control of currently one of the most valuable resources available.
Roger Haenni, CEO, and Co-founder at Datum said, “Blockchain technology allows for secure storage of data in a trustless and decentralized manner, where individuals own the keys to their own data, outside the control of any large entity… this allows, for the first time, to create a decentralized data storage network that allows anyone to monetize their data without being controlled by one single actor.”