Photo credit: Carlos Muza on

Somebody Please Build This! Thanks!

I’ve always thought that cable providers should pay consumers for our attention. That’s right, I shouldn’t pay to watch your commercial (or mostly shitty programming), you should pay me-or at least Comcast/Verizon/Direct TV should.

I’ve been wondering the same thing lately about our data. I don’t think people realize how much personalized information is collected from each one of us that has zero to do with a social security number.

I can only imagine but I’m sure it’s staggering. I’m convinced that Google, Amazon, and platforms like Twitter and Facebook know more about me than I know about myself (even though I refuse to tell Facebook where I went to high school-go me!)

Data is arguably the most valuable human commodity. More valuable than organs. More valuable than intellect. More valuable than genetics(though, related, I guess). More valuable than any skill or combination of skills. Certainly more valuable than real estate or any other material thing a person can own.

Can someone (or a group of smart someones) please build a platform using blockchain technology that allows users to own and control their data and all of the unique combinations of it? Fifty-fifty split. 40/60, hell, 10/90 and we’d probably all be financially independent for life. I still think it would blow the big data-collecting platforms out of the water.

Start with search then social then commerce then bio, banking and on and on.

I think open source would work. This platform becomes more valuable collectively as more users onboard. Not unlike Uber, AirBnB and apps like Waze. Amirite?

Could this be an alternative to Universal Basic Income when AI and robots replace workers?

Everyone, no matter their station in life or unfortunate circumstances have valuable data points behaviorally, physically, psychologically, physiologically, etc.. The data of the disabled and traditionally disenfranchised are conceivably more valuable and interesting to humanity than those of the seemingly perfect and traditionally privileged.

I picture a fluid exchange. As a user, I have value just from being on and using the platform (regardless of the degree). The more I use, the more valuable my input becomes so the incentive to continue to use is built in. Even at just that level, I, we, they could benefit.

On the next level, I could pitch interesting combos, post them on an “exchange”. Likewise, providers (of services, goods,information, whatever) could bid and make offers for the data they think they want or buy into the platform for unlimited (but anonymous) access to a clearinghouse.

I could release a sought-after combo of my distinct data points anonymously without compromising any single one or my identity or that of my family members.

Traditional data collecting giants could petition and pay the platform (and all of its users) to play in our sandbox. Yes, it would be our sandbox.

I’m no coder. (Surprised?) I’m not a visionary (can you tell?) Despite that, I am guessing the technology exists (obviously). It’s just a matter of shifting purpose slightly toward and for the benefit of the people who are providing the value (us). And for our part, expecting it.

I haven’t been able to figure out whether this (what I am thinking as expressed above-albeit poorly) is just a given. That something like this is exactly what will be the natural result of blockchain technology applied in different industries and operations. Is it inevitable? Something tells me “not necessarily”. Maybe “not even close sister.”

I’m an optimist, though. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong places or don’t follow quite the right people. This gave me hope today. (Even if this alleged scofflaw won’t provide it, I have to believe others are working on it.) It can’t come soon enough.