Over the past few years, most of us have become increasingly concerned about their digital identity.
More and more people are becoming uncomfortable with the idea of handing over so much of their personal data to large corporations. Similarly, companies are worried that mishandling the data they are in charge of could damage their reputation.
Data theft is an extremely profitable business. As a result, data breaches are becoming more common, and the stakes are higher than ever. The recent Equifax data breach is expected to have affected up to 143 million Americans – almost half of the country.
It is becoming increasingly clear the identity management system is ready for a complete overhaul.
In May 2018, a New European Privacy Regulation Will Come Into Force…
The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be implemented with the aim of giving individuals more power over their data while reducing the power of organizations and corporations that collect this data and use it for monetary gains.
This new regulation will apply to all businesses that sell to and store personal information about residents in Europe – including companies located on other continents.
Under this new rule, it will be illegal for companies to promote marketing material to consumers without first receiving their explicit consent.
As a result, it will also be mandatory for companies to keep strict, auditable records of their interactions with prospective clients.
Many have claimed that the introduction of this regulation is the most important change in data privacy regulations in 20 years.
VALID is a Self-Sovereign, Blockchain-Based Digital Identity and Personal Data Platform
The VALID Foundation was created by Procivis, a digital identity and e-government services provider. It was founded in October 2016.
The service is designed to connect identity owners with data consumers. It will operate as a not-for-profit, peer-to-peer, open source personal data management platform.
VALID gives users full control over their personal data and gives users more options so that they no longer have to rely on one central authority, such as the government, for the accreditation of their identity attributes.
The platform even features its own marketplace.
The VALID marketplace connects identity holders and data consumers through blockchain smart contracts. It is carefully calculated to match supply-and-demand, and it’s completely commission-free.
It takes the concepts of personal data control and self-sovereignty even further. Users will be able to choose whether or not they ‘sell’ their personal data (regarding purchases, online browsing history, mobile data, etc) to corporations – whilst maintaining control of their own rights.
VALID Takes Control From Large Corporations and Hands It Back to the User
Ultimately, the marketplace is designed to shift the power and profit distribution away from data management from the hands of large corporations, back into the hands of individual users.
From the perspective of the advertisers, there will be little difference from marketing directly on Facebook or Google. The platform was created for the benefit of the users, and therefore it is from the user standpoint where the experience will be significantly different.
For instance, instead of third-parties and middlemen being remunerated, all funds will go directly to the user via a smart contract. Even VALID itself will not have access to any of the information collected in user wallets.
Even when selling their information, users will remain anonymous to the companies they sell to. While this might at first seem unappealing to companies, it will actually make very little difference overall.
Companies conducting surveys and polls don’t have any need to collect any information about participants, and polls are actually more effective and less biased when anonymity is guaranteed.
With the upcoming changes in the regulatory landscape in many parts of the world, it is unavoidable that we will have to find an alternative to our current situation.
It seems absurd that we don’t already have full control of our own data, but unfortunately, it will take a lot of effort to remove power from large corporations and undo the changes that have been taking place for the past few years.
VALID might just be the catalyst for the solution we’ve been anticipating.