If the workers of the Internet don’t stop the data vacuum, who will?

Posted by Ryan Patterson, President not connected

It’s been nearly half a decade since Cambridge Analytica scandal Show the damage tech companies can do by misusing user data. While the controversy a turning point In the general concern about Internet data privacy, what progress has been made since then?

Some legislation to harden user data has come into effect around the worldsuch as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulations, but implementing these sweeping changes has proven to be so Be a challenge. Pushing irresponsible data collectors to be more vocal in their practices could backfire, causing companies to adopt more covert collection practices to circumvent regulations.

But protecting user data is essential to protecting the safety of the Internet and its users, especially as it moves toward immersive and immersive experiences like Web3 and connected devices. By 2023, companies that find creative ways to do this will no doubt expand their investor pools. This is especially true because retail investors — who care more about data privacy than institutions — are becoming a larger share of the broader investor group thanks to the rise of Robinhood and cryptocurrency.

The vicious circle of data collection

Every day netizens list data privacy as a file main concernbut these concerns seem incompatible with the unfathomable growth of repeat specialization privacy violators Like TikTok. This is not to say that there is a cognitive dissonance between the desire for privacy and internet trends, but that data privacy and surveillance can seem like issues that are too big to resolve on an individual level.

In a sense, the websites and companies that collect our data have become intrinsically linked to how we use the Internet, a kind of unspoken Rousseau-esque social and technological contract.

Data collection is often seen as benign or normal For most people, since there’s nothing particularly threatening about getting targeted ads for a new toaster. As such, this mundaneness allows for greater data collection to embed itself in all aspects of online operations. But anyone who is acutely aware of data privacy can see the slippery slope of data tracking in a more egregious case. It cannot stop opting out of cookies.

Scandals related to data collection continue pop up, so blaming a single source for mishandling user privacy seems pointless. This is especially true when you consider that data privacy breaches are not limited to the private sector, but to governments as well. The data collection is incredible Good for business and surveillance, but the benefits become nebulous when it comes to violating individuals’ rights to privacy.

Sell ​​data to the highest bidder

User data is not only saved in a safe place, untouched by any outside interference. For private and government entities, the many components of this data provide a wealth of ideas for monetization or monitoring. Although many consumers are aware of the use of data for commercial purposes and do not necessarily contradict itThe ambiguity of the aspects of the data being taken is of real concern.

For example, location tracking is of tremendous value to both private companies and government agencies. But reaching such high levels of control over the whereabouts of ordinary citizens is what sparks the most Backlash and controversy When misuse is detected. The controversy only gets worse when the law is applied get involved.

Since data sales are not properly communicated to regular users aside from incomprehensible permission pop-ups, it is difficult to keep track of which aspects are made available for overseas purchase.

Undoubtedly, this data sharing has raised alarms among regulators and larger commissions around the world, including the US Federal Trade Commission. But even with regulators making commitments To combat the illegal sale and use of sensitive information, enforcement of these rules has proven difficult. This is especially true in countries where government agencies have something to gain from obtaining user data.

Be proactively protective

While legislation is being drafted and debated globally, there is already a market for those who are taking proactive action to enhance the privacy of their data. The data protection market is expected to grow further $25 billion in value By 2029 opens a wide window of opportunity for developers and companies to step in as regulators catch up.

This number has the potential to grow when considering Web3 developments and major players participate in it. using the Internet It just risesAnd its next phase is being backed by tech giants who already have an interest in collecting more data. As usage increases, Internet ecosystems get busier.

Metaverse development is an important aspect of Web3, although it is still nascent and the platforms are far from fully operational. But Vision The Metaverse-focused internet aims to digitize all aspects of an individual’s lifestyle – from work to commerce to entertainment. An immersive presence like this is tempting, and it’s easy to see how the free-to-use Web3 environment can easily expand to suck more user data without consent.

Developers at the forefront of creating Web3 and Metaverse experiences can be proactive in data protection while the market is still in its infancy. By leveraging data protection, projects can be at the forefront of technological development to create connected environments that are fairer and more transparent.

Data privacy remains a The main issue From our collective experience on the Internet, its sheer size makes it difficult to handle. As developments in new connected experiences continue, now is the time for those creating new and worthwhile platforms to consider cutting the data dump cord. While systemic change to address the right to data privacy may be slow, innovative projects can step up to lead by example.

About the author

Ryan Patterson He is the Unplugged Head. Prior to taking the reins at Unplugged, Ryan served as Founder, President and CEO of IST Research, from 2008 to 2020, supporting clients around the world. He successfully exited IST Research by selling the company in September of 2020. Ryan also served two tours at the Defense Advanced Research Agency (DARPA), and 12 years in the United States Marine Corps (USMC).

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Nasdaq, Inc.

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