I keep reading blog posts that say I own my data. Well, maybe I do, but what does that actually mean?
It means that, if you want, you can reclaim your personal data from all the businesses that have some of it, like credit scoring companies such as Equifax or social networks like LinkedIn. The Europeans just brought in legislation (called GDPR) that forces companies to enable you to physically take your data back, if you want. So now, you can take ownership of your data.
Why would I want to do that? Maybe I’m happy as things are.
Think of it like this: you made some kind of deal with every one of those companies that hold your data which allowed them to use your data in exchange for some kind of service. So the question is: do you still think it is a good deal?
Do you know of any better deals?
It’s probably better to think in terms of different deals. So, for example, Datawallet provides you with a different deal. BAT provides you with a different deal. Permission.io provides you with a different deal. The birth of new businesses that have a different attitude to personal data is encouraging; they are the conduits of a revolution. But they are not the revolution itself.
So what are these companies doing with personal data?
Datawallet allows you to pool your personal data with that of others and have companies pay to analyze it. BAT has an entirely different approach to the ad market. With its own browser, it organizes publishers, advertisers, and users to eliminate ad-brokers and share the ad revenues between publishers and users. Permission.io is also in the ad-market and the media market, directly linking users to advertisers. Permission.io members can share their data anonymously with companies that they are interested in, and get paid directly for interacting with those companies’ ads.
You talked about a revolution earlier. What do you mean?
Revolutions occur when people change their attitudes. The American Revolution occurred because the colonists thought being ruled by a king on a different continent didn’t make sense. The French Revolution occurred because the French no longer accepted the idea of being ruled by a monarchy. They changed their attitude. It’s the same with data ownership. People no longer accept that today’s tech monoliths should assume all power over their personal data. Change becomes inevitable as soon as most people decide that they own their own data.
And when they do, what happens then?
Then businesses like Permission.io and the others we mentioned emerge and enable people to profit from the ownership of their data.
So, how does Permission.io work?
It’s a market which has on one side people who are willing to share their profile data for targeting purposes with advertisers who want people to watch their content. What makes it completely different is that the advertisers pay the consumer for watching the ads rather than paying Google or Facebook for pushing the ads in front your face.
So it stores my data. How do I know that Permission.io is not sharing my data with other businesses?
Because you store your data under your own private key and give permission to advertisers to “rent it.” All data is anonymous.
OK. So I get paid to watch ads. But I hate most ads, I avoid them like the plague.
And you would avoid ads you don’t like on our platform, too. But if you think about it, there are ads you do like. Think about the Super Bowl ads. Think about movie trailers and TV trailers, and music promotions. Maybe you like games. Maybe you like certain kinds of cars. All advertisers post their ads to YouTube—of course they do. Some of them get millions of views. In 2017 a Samsung India Service SVC ad got more than 150 million views. It was the most watched video of 2017.
So why wouldn’t I just watch ads on YouTube?
Because YouTube won’t pay you. Permission.io will. It pays you in the Permission Coin (ticker: ASK).
I’d prefer to be paid in dollars.
Perhaps, but it’s not so different. The platform gives you a cryptowallet. You can transfer the ASK in your wallet to dollars or other currencies. But it’s a media platform too. You can pay in ASK to watch movies or listen to music as well. It’s not just ads.
What’s to stop me just sitting there all day watching ads and making a living from it?
You only get presented the ads from the advertisers that target you. Advertisers will probably avoid targeting people who watch every ad. So you would not get enough ads for you to earn a living in that way.
So is it more like a pocket money thing?
Well right now, yes. But later the company plans to reward referrers and recommenders. And independent content providers will also be encouraged to market their content on the platform. So it may prove possible to earn a living from it, if you’re the right kind of person. Think of Permission.io as a media ecosystem.
What will happen to Facebook and Google if companies like this succeed?
We expect they will continue pretty much as they are for quite a while, but gradually they will find themselves in direct competition with blockchain based businesses. And if they don’t stop exploiting people’s data, their business revenues with begin to vanish as more and more people adopt alternatives.