Individuals as the point of integration

“I want my data to mean more than just be used to serve me adds!”

Key takeaways:

  • Individuals have to “blindly” trust organisations tu guarantee privacy.

  • Control over personal data should instead be given to individuals.

  • Swarm offers a self-sovereign and private storage.

  • Individual can use Swarm to gain self-sovereignty and privacy of their data.

  • Companies will need to adopt human centric data model to regain trust.

Individuals are facing a digital identity crisis. Their personal data is used by the data hoarders and they have no control over it. It is being used and misused, even leaked and hacked into. They often do not have access to it, or even if they do, they would not know what to do with it. The guarantee of privacy is not under their control, based only on the trust they have towards the companies holding their data, which is quickly decaying. The services they are getting in return are seemingly free, although in the background they are really paying with their time and attention, getting endless cookie consents as they are being served advertisements based on their digital twin profile built around their data, usually with little meaning but destroying the experience.

Can anything be done about this? The middlemen serving the advertisements have to be taken out of the loop and control over their personal data given to the individuals.

The first step would be offering the individuals a safe and “private” place to store their data. However counterintuitive, Swarm offers this space in the peer-to-peer cloud. Making the individuals the point of integration is also natural, since that way, the richest possible data about themself is held by the individuals. It also breaks the oligopoly into most possible pieces. For individuals this means managing their space with their private key, having almost unlimited storage space available, completely scalable, without setting up any infrastructure. And all available data from their browser (with proper apps). As the data is split into chunks and encrypted, it is recoverable only by them. Unless they wish to share it.

Additionally, the whole web experience can be made more secure, as the pages hosted on the peer-to-peer network are by design routed in a way that does not reveal the requestor. Privacy preserving routing is again at the core of the design.

Individuals will be able to get to the data and use it as they see fit - opening its use to an ecosystem of organisations providing tailored services around it. This applies to simple services like looking at your calendar for free slots, all the way to personal health diagnosis and recommendations, while keeping the data private. This will bootstrap the Fair data economy from the bottom up, leveraging a broad spectrum of data the individuals hold about themselves.

We believe companies willing to come towards the individuals will be inclined to use such technologies and will gain trust by extension and a greater following as the result.

Several examples are decribed, aiming to enable individuals the benefits of Swarm for storing their data: Fairdrive, Personium, Fairdrop, Midhub platform.