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Centralization Compromises Your Personal Data

August 28, 2019
James Hall


Centralization Compromises Your Personal Data

From the Equifax data leak to the ever unraveling Facebook data scandal, more attention has been directed at the vital issue of securing one’s personal data. While many hear and fear these large events involving data, it’s important to understand that your data is being collected and is compromised at a “micro” level as well.

With each data breach or scandal, it serves as a reminder of the dangers of centralization. As well, it solidifies decentralization is a necessary solution to this problem.

Every Step You Take, Every Move You Make…

The term ‘smartphone’ might be an understatement for the type of computing power available in your mobile device. The trade-off? The compass, GPS, gyroscope, and accelerometer, which are the primary tools for collecting location information, creates a data profile of you which can be sold or utilized.

An Associated Press investigation discovered that Google tracks you even if your phone settings indicate the opposite.

“…Google services on Android devices and iPhones store your location data even if you’ve used a privacy setting that says it will prevent Google from doing so.”

By tracking the purchase of a banana, Washington Post’s technology columnist Geoffrey Fowler identified “six types of businesses [that] could mine and share elements of my purchase, multiplied untold times by other companies they might have passed it to.” These entities were the bank, the card network, the store, point-of-sale systems and retailer banks, mobile wallets, and financial apps.

Possibly the most egregious discovery was in Chase bank’s privacy statement which Fowler uncovered. It states that Chase reserves the right to share your data for many reasons. One of them being “For nonaffiliates to market to you.”

The take away here is your everyday actions amount to micro-events producing data for future sale or utilization by third-parties.

Decentralization for Data Empowerment

Essentially, there is no escaping it; we have become a product of big tech for them to sell to advertisers or target themselves. Additionally, you can only ‘take their word for it’ that any assurances these companies make will be followed.

There is no form of centralization that can safeguard our data in the digital economy. Only with blockchain technology, which offers transparent code and decentralization, can this can be done. You do not need to trust any centralized entity; you only need to trust the impartial distributed blockchain ledger. Many distributed ledger projects also allow users to monetize their data by selling what they choose directly to advertisers.

In short, blockchain offers its users safety, security, trustworthiness, and even potential profit involving their personal data. Therefore, it’s only a matter of time until this disruptive technology takes over and gives us all power over our data.