In the same way that you would think twice about eating chicken nuggets once you see them made, You would probably hesitate to offer your personal information once you see how it is being used and monetized.
Freedom has become one of the most traded goods in the world, and over the years The internet has eroded it.
We live in a world where we are faced with 5,000 words when buying sneakers. The critical details of what companies do with our data are buried in a variety of legal jargons. Most of us click “I agree” without thinking about the consequences.
In other cases, companies are unacceptably opaque about how our data is used. This is a big problem when companies offer their services “for free” … as long as we can provide our email address, phone number, and some other details.
A scene from the latest science fiction series Maniac shows perfectly where the world is going. A character has a choice: he can pay for his subway ticket or receive it for free in exchange for personal information. As you can imagine, they clearly went for the latter.
That’s basically what we do every day, giving our data to businesses big and small, sacrificing our privacy and freedom in the process.
It has gotten so bad that individual states have had to intervene in rules and regulations designed to protect the public, many of which are not sure what they are signing when they tick a seemingly harmless box on a website.
And it’s also telling that the tech giants are concerned about the faucets being turned off. When Apple unveiled a new feature that would allow users to disable tracking of their activity through apps and websites, Facebook launched a fierce PR campaign against the measures. The social network advocated protecting small businesses that rely on its platform for targeted advertising. The cynics among you will see this as an obvious attempt to protect the profits of the most insidious and influential data mining company in history.
Pandora’s box has been opened
The tide is starting to turn – because we have opened Pandora’s box – and the world is starting to have long-awaited discussions about the privacy to which we are entitled online.
For more than 10 years, thanks to Bitcoin (BTC) and its competitors, we have … In other parts of our society, however, there is still a long way to go.
Last week I went to the store and bought a moisturizer on the fly. When I got home I did a Google search to find out more about the product. For the next seven days, I was bombarded with ads for moisturizer on Facebook.
Like our health, well-being and career, freedom is an internal personal responsibility that we must control, maintain and protect, especially in the digital realm where it can be easily sold in exchange for access to free services.
To feel free and safe in our homes, we rely on the privacy of our property and the trustworthiness of our friends and neighbors. Government laws and housing association rules support this. But we also entrust our financial privacy to the institutions – with the expectation that they will be held accountable by regulators and central banks – and the reason why Bitcoin was introduced in 2009 was because our expectations were not met.
Why blockchain is the answer
Every modern proof-of-use blockchain addresses issues related to privacy and digital trust in a unique way and in these vibrant communities. Decentralized governance helps ensure compliance, with cutback mechanisms deterring those tempted to work against the interests of a network.
With proof-of-stake blockchains, users benefit from a consent form. You will be kept informed of suggestions for improving and expanding the network and ideas for new services. Digital social consensus means that they can read the debates on the pros and cons of each proposal, come to their own conclusions, and vote accordingly. Can you honestly imagine a tech giant doing this?
Privacy issues can be solved by generating abstract network addresses that are not permanently tied to public keys, or by using special proxy smart contracts that are similar to VPN and Tor, but above the blockchain.
Can blockchain technology solve some of the most pressing privacy and trust problems of a generation? I think so. Once the technology is in place and transactions are cheap enough, consumers can choose between sharing their private information or paying a small fee.
We need to learn the tough lessons of the past and make the right decision this time. I remember the early days of email when spam messages were a huge problem. A small commission per delivery was seen as a way to work around this problem, but in the end, Gmail prevailed. Now there is no financial cost … We only pay the low price for Google, which hosts all of our electronic correspondence.
Proof-of-stake blockchains offer cheap transactions, decentralized government running the rules of the network, maximum privacy, and no data collection guidelines. Every story begins with trust – and in the world of blockchain technology, trust begins with the network.