We spend more and more time online, leaving behind lots of information on the Internet and network giants like Google or Facebook, but also intelligence agencies are very interested in this data. With social networks, collections of big data, refrigerators or washing machines that are connected to the Internet, companies, and researchers promise us a world, customized to our desires and lifestyle. But it’s also about privacy, control, and surveillance.
Big Internet companies collect enormous amounts of data about us, analyze it and market it. However, American artist Jennifer Lyn Morone resists being used as a marketing object. Instead, she collects the data about herself and markets it. For this purpose, she has even founded her own company: the “Jennifer Lyn Morone, Inc.” To get free online services, she points out, people hand over intimate information to technology firms. “Personal data is much more valuable than you think,” she says.
Since it emerged in March 2018 that Cambridge Analytica had acquired data on 87 million Facebook users in underhanded ways to use it for political propaganda, voices calling for new regulation of online personal data have grown louder.
Regain ownership of your data
The tech startup BehviourExchange believes they have the solution. To shift the balance between online users (the data owners) and tech companies (the ones that make money with the data), they designed an elaborate digital platform that basically lets people turn their data into money on the one hand, and B2C businesses reach their target customers on the other.
Data is the currency of the future
Unlike most social networking platforms (Facebook, we’re talking about you here) who abuse their access to users’ personal information for one-sided gains, BehaviourExchange believes in transparency, data protection and fair distribution of profits among all stakeholders in the system, which they want to achieve with a utility token economy and a decentralized Blockchain database.
The platform can customize websites’ content according to individual users’ profiles while users keep ownership of their data which is securely stored on a blockchain. Users can at any point decide whether or not to share their profile with the platform. For sharing their data, users get paid with special utility tokens (BEX) which they can use for online shopping and services.
The creators believe they have come up with a way to achieve a new, fair paradigm for digital marketing communication and improve the security of personal information. Earlier this month, the team announced that the project joined the BTC City Blockchain Alliance which means they will be able to test their technology in a unique live environment, the so-called living Lab.
BehaviourExchange is set to enter the B2C market by the end of 2018 and they will start a public token sale (ICO) in September.