New technologies have the power to advance innovative ideas for collecting and sharing personal data. Since its beginnings, the Internet provides a place to find information and connect with other users. However, the current “Internet of information” is evolving into the “Internet of value” by using blockchain technology. This emerging web ecosystem promises to offer enhanced data privacy protections and accountability from companies sharing their customers’ personal data.
Social media companies are assessing ways to improve the way they share data and protect their customers. To improve data sharing, Facebook announced that it’s developing guidelines for collaborating with Google, Microsoft, and Twitter. But protecting data presents challenges, such as blocking scams and false advertising. In early 2018, Facebook took drastic measures to “improve the integrity and security” of its system by cracking down on ads for cryptocurrencies and ICOs.
An article from CoinCentral, What Is Digital Asset? | Distributed Ledgers for Financial Institutions, by Sarah Rothrie, discusses how the financial industry is advancing distributed ledgers technologies (DLTs) to share processes and data securely. Digital Asset, a leading blockchain tech company, is developing a flexible platform that protects confidentiality and assures data integrity. The platform consists of “permissioned” ledgers that only allow access to certain sections and “segregated” ledgers that use cryptographic hashes for accuracy.
While the financial industry continues to develop new blockchain frameworks, social media providers are also exploring ways to utilize the technology. The founder of Richtopia, Derin Cag, explained various ways that blockchain could benefit social media, including:
- Preventing “fake news” through a rewards-based credit ratings system, which can be embedded into websites.
- Allowing users to “opt-in” to data sharing where they are automatically paid when their data is sold to third parties.
- Improving automation using smart contracts where multiple social media platforms could concurrently interact on a user’s behalf.
Looking forward, Internet users desire more control over their data. The users in the emerging “Internet of value” expect rewards for their loyalty. In the long run, companies that continue to make profits by deceiving customers will lose their market share. In the highly competitive web ecosystem, industry leaders using technology to create stronger data privacy will attract and retain more customers.