This may surprise you, but your data has value. The information that you communicate through social media, through your wearable devices, through your connected IoT devices – all of these have value. But that value is not in your photos, likes or comments, but because you have value as a consumer.
Advertisers want to know what you do, where you eat, what you buy, and all sorts of data about who you are. The goal, of course, is to sell you the products that they represent.
If you think your data isn’t valuable, consider what companies will pay for access to your information. From personal information and buying trends, to cell phone usage and internet searches, companies are willing to pay large sums of money for access to you. In fact, brokers make more than $425 million per year by leveraging and selling data about consumers.
Bias in Datatown
It should come as no surprise that, where this kind of money can be made, some bias exists. The data that you are producing every day (around .77 GB, according to a recent study) has substantial value, and most consumers are either not aware of the value or not aware of a way to monetize that value.
Because of the bias surrounding this information overload, large corporations are able to access and use consumer data to target market through advertising. Advertisers are willing to pay to limit their marketing to real buyers, and data storehouses like Google or Facebook reap all the benefit. The only real loser is the consumer, who is left with ‘likes’, or a few loyalty reward points.
Datum to the Rescue
A new blockchain-based company called Datum, built on the distributed ledger of Ethereum, is seeking to change this imbalance back in favor of consumers. Datum has created a platform where users can choose to store their data securely, without risk of privacy invasion, and then sell it to buyers who are wanting access.
The platform, designed to storehouse data securely on the database, makes data distribution a personal choice. A simple app controls whether information is privatized or marketed to buyers, and all proceeds of any sold information are returned directly to the user through DATG, the digital token created by Datum.
The use cases for this system are massive for individuals and businesses alike. Consumers can choose to sell some data (perhaps social media usage), but privatize IoT device information. The choice of the consumer drives the amount of access. Businesses can also securely manage their IoT devices, controlling where data about the device and the user is kept, and who has access to it.
The application can also be used in a number of other fields. For example, health data can be securely stored on the blockchain, or insurance information for personal injury or claims can all be kept completely private via the technology.
Both private and secure, the system provides real-time control of what you want to do with the date you’re producing every day. As Datum makes clear, “The problem with the existing business models of data is that the ‘Digital You’ is something you do not own. Datum aims for your data to be quantifiable and for you to benefit from it through our marketplace.”
Monetizing Daily Life
Consumers bring profound value to the marketplace simply by the data they produce while living daily life. But to monetize this value, Datum has created the DATG token, tradeable and usable on the Datum platform. Investors and consumers can have access to these tokens through the coming token sale, starting September 12th and ending October 12th.
After the token sale is complete, the startup will begin development of the platform and app that aims to allow users seamless control over personal data. Not only data sources like wearable tech and social media, but IoT devices will also be connectable, both for individuals and business. Businesses will be able to internally secure and externally market that data.
The market for data is massive, and centralized companies are reaping huge rewards by monetizing that data for advertisers. However, by providing the technology that can facilitate connections between businesses and users, Datum is perhaps the ideal blockchain-based startup to touch every part of our daily lives beyond Bitcoin and smart contracts.
Featured image from Pixabay
The views expressed here by the columnist are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Crypto Insider