Your data, your choice
Chief Commercial Officer, Reworth
In the world of today, I personally think the assumption is clear: “If it’s for free you are the product”.
This sentence has become irredeemably associated with the Web2 era. A necessary and assumed condition; you could not be part of Web2 without sharing your data with Google, Facebook and any other Website.
Any single experience, is dependent on a requirement to share. But not in a manner that you would necessarily benefit from. At times, it feels like someone is reading your intimate diary and using (and monetizing!) its content without bothering to ask permission.
Our willingness to share information and our desire for privacy actually changes country by country; it’s almost a part of each national character. For example, 70% of Southern Asians are willing to share their geolocation, while only 20% of Central Europeans are open to the idea.
Every day, headlines reveal examples of disastrous uses of data. I think one of the most disturbing ones was when Target, through personal and loyalty data, was able to predict if someone was pregnant; they actually got sued by a few customers, in the process!.
To date, users have not really benefited from their data being monitored and sold (in reality, that was never the objective!), and public opinion has become unsatisfied with this status quo. A majority of Americans (81%) feel they have very little or no control over the data companies collect about them, and 79% are very or somewhat concerned about how companies use this data, according to a survey from Pew Research Center
As the World migrates towards more privacy-focused experiences, think about the Apple’s Differential Privacy approach to masking data or the impending disappearance of cookies (scheduled for the end of 2022).
This scene is set for Web 3.0 as the best way to build privacy-first experiences.
Web 3.0 is focused on making personal information private again; it builds on a growing movement to give users control over their data ownership and monetization. It’s design encourages individuals to decide how they want to collect and store their data—and if and when they want to sell it, instead of companies collecting it for free.
● Universal Settings: You decide you don’t want any company in any domain to track your data, and you set your universal settings to private.
● Specific Settings: You decide you are willing to sell your information in certain areas of your life. For instance, you set your preferences to track and monetize all of your business and leisure travel information: how you get there, where you stay, what you do. But you don’t want to share any information related to entertainment, shopping or news, so you opt to keep all of that data private.
Today’s tech giants are still not paying for the private data that creates an enormous amount of value for them (neither, in reality, do they even bother asking for permission!), but I believe they will be forced to change their business models to stay relevant in Web 3.0.
Public opinion is already shifting, and new start-ups that offer consumers options to sell their personal data are giving people something to run to, not just run from.
It sounds radical, but if companies like Facebook, Amazon, Google and Netflix resist this change, they will likely see their margins deteriorate over time. That’s great news for Web 3.0 and companies which do give users the right to choose.