Giving Power Back to Consumers in the Attention Economy

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We’re generally aware that hyper-targeted digital advertising is the price we pay for the free services we love.

The trouble is, without knowing exactly what advertisers know about us, or how they act on that information, our relationship lacks mutually-accepted boundaries. They target with hyper-specific ads that sometimes know us better than we do; we shrug it off, hoping our privacy is protected.

We aim to change that relationship. With our permission-based advertising platform, everyday users will have control over what they share and with whom they share it. Best yet, for the first time users will be appropriately compensated for time spent consuming commercial content.

Here’s how we expect this to fundamentally change the relationship between advertisers and the advertised.

Tech giants gained their wealth from personal data. Why give everyday people personal data spending power?

The biggest change we expect is the empowerment of individuals over platform and publishing giants.

Traditionally, there’s almost always been a party standing between consumers and advertisers: media.

And while ad revenue helps offset the cost of running these businesses, it causes these intermediaries to further amplify their power over the interests of their audiences and users.

This power derives from their wealth and lobbying power. Revenues from digital advertising reached $178 billion in 2016with 54 percent shared by Google and Facebook. On average, digital advertisers are spending around $287 for each US internet user.

So, not only are the individuals advertised to unable to reap the rewards from their valuable attention, these rewards are going to remarkably few companies wielding increasing influence.

Permission.io, formerly Algebraix, aims to reverse that trend by paying ad viewers for each ad they view.

It’s personal data spending power. Now, subjects of this increasingly valuable commodity, data, are the owners, not the subjects.

The fact that this platform works exclusively from the explicit consent of the consumer leads us to the next huge shift.

Advertisers will work around your privacy preferences.

In the Permission marketplace, each individual’s advertising data is safely stored in their own Personal Secure Vault (PSV). Since they live exclusively within our applications, you can choose to view ads offered by the brands you like, when you like.

Only you can access your data— advertisers won’t see it — neither can we.

The idea is to protect your data, and prevent advertising from gathering too much from you, and others. By making personal data individualized and permission-based, we make it uneconomical for advertisers to aggregate masses of data. That way, your data is shared with the agreed-upon advertiser, and not collected and sold to other advertisers without your permission.

So, instead, advertisers query our database looking for prospects. They’ll look for users with data points similar to those that currently exist in digital advertising, only removed of all identifying data, and of particular data you’ve flagged as private.

The information you’ve chosen to expose will no longer be splashed all over the web. You won’t see their ads when you check your email or check up on your friend.

Since they live exclusively within our application, you can view ads, get paid, follow brands you like, and engage in a sales conversation should you find their products legitimately interesting.

Conversely, if you’re not interested, you’re left alone. You have that power, now.

Robin Bloor
About the Author
Robin Bloor Ph D. is the Technology Evangelist for Permission.io. He was the founder and leading light of Bloor Research, in the UK and later The Bloor Group in the US, both prominent technology analyst companies. He is a published author, a frequent blogger and an acknowledged expert in many areas of IT. His books include The Algebra of Data and The “Common Sense” of Crypto Currency.
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