In 2017, the Economist published an article "The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data". Data has become big business with companies collecting huge amounts of data on us and then using it in ways that sometimes feel unsavoury. Some estimates claim that $200bn of data is exchanged every year, however, the consumer does not benefit from the use of this data which is essentially our data.
Many are worried about how all this data is used. It is clear that political campaigns and elections have been interfered with by analytical companies (famously Cambridge Analytica) by buying data and using it to target personalised social media to sway public opinion. I am sure everyone has been annoyed some times by personalised adverts that have been displayed because you happen to be looking for something a few days ago. This has in turn made project like Brave browser popular as it provides an alternative economical mechanism for protecting privacy whilst rewarding users.
There are some good uses of personal data that we should note. A Forbes article talks about some of the good uses of mass data collection which may at first seem to be encroaching too much on our privacy. For example, regular photographing of our homes and neighbourhoods may help environment agencies better plan and protect against environmental disasters. They also discuss how AI can sift through personal medical data and learn how to diagnose cancer better.
This does create a bleak image of a future where everything in our lives is analysed by AI sifting through massive amounts of data and making decisions about our behaviours to help predict outcomes in our lives.
Some have talked about monetising personal data so that we can earn some money by sharing our data. Like many things, that could be a win/win situation if our data is being used to solve real-world problems and we are making money out of the data too. However, there is a big risk that our data isn't used for good purposes.
As such, some groups like the EFF have argued that it is a bad deal to sell our data. The few cents that we do get paid is nothing compared to the privacy we are giving away and the value the compiled data sets are really worth.
However, can blockchain change this and allow us to sell our data in a way that doesn't comprise our privacy? Can we get a fair deal? This is something that Instars are trying to achieve by revolutionising the selling of data on the blockchain. The idea is they can collect data and monetise it on the blockchain so that the data own receives a fair compensation. Instars will pay you for collecting receipts and also completing surveys.
So what do you think about this project? If you haven't checked it before, then please do feel free to use my referral link below and let me know what you think.