There’s much to be said for the benefits of the private data industry. The databases of personal data kept by firms like Google, Amazon, and Facebook have resulted in more specialized and more efficient services. They’ve helped connect people around the globe and yes, earned big bucks for advertisers and data collectors.
It’s important to keep in mind that these developments haven’t only been good for business. Even the specialization of something as trivial (and often annoying) as ads has been good for the average consumer. Businesses benefit, but consumers also discover products and services that might really make their lives a little better.
This mutually beneficial dynamic makes it difficult to contemplate throwing the private data industry out the window altogether. There’s no going back. But there are severe imbalances in the industry that have proved harmful to both businesses and consumers — imbalances that can and should be relieved and ironed out as the industry develops into the future.
Let’s start with consumers since their concerns have so far dominated the public sphere, though little progress has been made to give them a bigger role in the private data industry.
Privacy lies at the root of consumer worries. Perhaps this wouldn’t be such a major issue of data collectors were known for keeping the information they gather safely. But breaches are common and nearly unavoidable in the arms race between hackers and cybersecurity experts. And what’s worse is that many data collectors are cashing in on private information by selling to third parties.
Knowing that this might be perceived as a breach of trust, they often carry on these operations in secret or by burying the relevant information in unreadable terms and conditions. Consumers rightfully see themselves as the owners of the data they create, and they don’t appreciate having the wool pulled over their eyes.
But the current situation is highly problematic for businesses as well. Very few entrepreneurs want to unjustly take advantage of data willingly provided by consumers. But competition in the industry is getting fierce and many feel that they have little choice if they want to compete with established figures that dominate the field.
In desperation to carve out a successful niche, businesses are turning to the constant and expense search for legal loopholes and other practices that could put them in direct conflict with the authorities — if not now, then later. And the more and more desperation builds up, the more businesses are beginning to rely on dubious sources of data.
This state of affairs can barely be described as developed, despite all the technology involved. That’s why Senno has created a new model — one that keeps data safe by storing it on the blockchain, rewards consumers financially for willingly and knowingly making their data available and providing businesses like advertisers with a bountiful, accurate and legal data. There’s no need to do away with the collection of private data when it’s possible to return balance to the playing field, giving consumers complete control over what they share and with whom and enhancing the benefits businesses gain by utilizing that data.