Why Data Ownership Matters

As we go about our daily lives most of us are generating huge amounts of data for companies such as Apple, Facebook, Google, Banks, Credit card companies, and Governments. Whenever we make a transaction or purchase a good or service online, we hand over our personal information. However, there is little to no regulation to restrict how and where that data is stored and how it can be used. All the data we generate is stored on somebody else’s central database, for example, our medical records are stored on a health service database, our financial details on a bank’s database, and our credit history on a credit reference agency database. There are many challenges associated with storing our data in centralized systems such as this.

1. Our personal data is out of our control; a company can use it for their own economic gain, or sell it to third parties without our knowledge or permission.

2. Porting our data from one system or provider to another can be complicated and expensive.

3. If privacy violations occur (e.g. a hack, identity theft) the responsibility falls on us to deal with the costs and consequences.

All the data that is gathered and stored on these centralized systems constitutes our “digital identity”. Our credit report is a record of our credit history from a number of sources, including banks, credit card companies, collection agencies, and governments which is used to determine whether we can take out a phone contract, a loan, or a mortgage. This is the digital “us” that is seen by the algorithms of the organisations and institutions that we interact with online and who have the power to grant or deny access to critical products and services.

At Tectone23 we believe that an individual has the right to establish their own identity and the right to capture and control their data that constitutes this identity. It starts with a digital ID unique to each person, secured cryptographically with a private key pair, and comprised of multiple data points. The more data points, the harder the identity is to fake or hack. Such an ID enables individuals to create and manage their own “digital black box” of private data.

This digital black box, stored using a combination of blockchain and distributed ledger technology, enables separation of the identification layer from the data layer, meaning that only the data owner can link the data back to their digital identity using their public & private keys. The use of private keys allows users to store their personal information online without needing usernames and passwords and make transactions anonymously without handing over all of their details. It also enables data to be shared anonymously so that users can monetize their data without compromising privacy and have control over what data points are made available.

At Tectone23 our mission is to put the power for people to control their own data in the palms of their hands. As more and more of our lives are conducted online using our digital identities this mission will become increasingly important and relevant.

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