The vast collection of data and user profiling has changed how we live our online lives, ultimately threatening our right to privacy.
Data is undoubtedly a massive asset and powers some of the biggest companies in the world. The data brokering industry generates billions of dollars of revenue based on your information, with your data value varying depending on factors including wealth, age, race, and sex. Your data is gathered in such detail that it paints a precise picture of who you are, your values, habits, interests, employment, and much more, and companies exploit this knowledge to win customers.
Consider the apps you frequently use on your phone; their privacy settings are often confusing and compiled in a manner that doesn't give you complete control over how your data is recorded. And if you do switch off settings such as location services, the app will not function as you need it, almost forcing you to share your data. The harsh reality is that if you're getting a free service, you are the product.
The list of businesses that collect your data is endless. It is far easier to assume that a service you regularly use is using your data somehow. Social media apps are top of the list and collect more data than anybody, but it's not only big tech storing your personal information. Even smaller local businesses store your data. Your name, email, age, sex, and marital status are all commonplace questions you supply the answers to via online registrations, competitions, discount offers, and purchases. The more information a company collects, the more detailed profiles it can compile to direct its services more accurately. Using your data to fine-tune a business and improve service is ideal and is why we supply our data in the first place. However, we may not consider that information can end up being used in every way imaginable, from directing ad campaigns to stealing money from your credit cards. While a business holds your data, the law governs its use. But, with 1,864 data breaches in 2021, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center, information is getting leaked into the public forum at an increasing rate, and often a free-for-all ensues.
You may be asking yourself, 'what data is being collected about me exactly'? It could be anything, but here is a short list to begin with.
• Living situation
• Ethnic origin
• Political opinions
• Religious or philosophical beliefs
• Genetic data
• Biometric data
• Health data
• Sex life
• Sexual orientation
• Criminal history
If you look at this list it is obvious how important it is that ownership of this data is properly managed and secured.
It only takes a quick online search to see that data breaches are commonplace and put millions of people's personal data and finances at risk. It is difficult to control your data and even harder to record who owns and uses it. The solution to this issue needs to be a security system that enables you and properly authorized third-party organizations to access your data without creating additional security risks. Blockchain networks, such as Zinnia, provide incredible opportunities in this field. The most impressive advantage of blockchain and cryptographic technology is that it allows for an immutable store of data, proving ownership and administrating how data is used at every step. Incorporating encrypted data into this immutable technology means that unwilling modification or theft becomes almost impossible, and sharing this data is secured even further with end-to-end encryption. Blockchain technology gives you control of your data and with whom you share it. Developments such as zero-knowledge proofs enable you to prove that data is within a specific range without sharing that data, allowing you to prove that you can repay your loan without providing actual finance data.
Since blockchain is decentralized and does not rely on one central point of control, it is harder to hack and obtain data illegally.
Grant and Revoke Access
Blockchain makes it possible to enable and remove access to specific files, in addition to changing ownership of those files on the fly. This makes it much easier for users to share only specific data with the companies they choose.
Encryption and Validation
Blockchain platforms can ensure that your data is encrypted, which means that unwilling modification or theft of data becomes near impossible. When you add end-to-end encryption in the data-sharing process, you can secure the sharing of data.
Proving data without sharing data
Blockchain has consistently been recognized as a great asset storage system. Developments such as Zero Knowledge proofs enable you to prove that data is within a certain range without sharing that data.
Zinnia is a decentralized autonomous organization governed by its participants, with its sole purpose to build and create products and applications that anyone can freely use. Zinnia will encourage developers to seek funding from the treasury to build applications on Zinnia, where utility comes before profit and where the security of your data is in your hands. And by making blockchain more accessible and affordable, it will realize its potential.