The Copyright on Your Personal Data Should Be Yours!
Think about it.
Your name, age, credit card rating, likes and dislikes, habits, preferences, practices — basically, everything about you — is yours!
It does not belong to Facebook. It does not belong to Google. It does not belong to Amazon. It does not belong to Microsoft. It does not belong to Apple. It should belong to you. You should hold the access privileges to your data. But you do not — as of now. Corporate America is making a fortune — out of divulging our data to advertising companies. But we can change that. Interested? Let me explain.
This money given to access your personal details belongs to you. You should have all the rights over your own data. But you do not have those rights! And that is not ethical. It is unfair, biased, and wrong. Your data should belong to you. How can we correct this situation?
There is a very real and concrete solution to this problem. But a concern, a start-up, or a company has to embrace the idea completely, implement some complex software systems, and most importantly, overcome all resistance that Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Apple and all the rest of the multi-billion-dollar corporate world will throw at you.
Because Facebook, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon and who knows which other companies are making a fortune with your data. And they will not want their revenues to fall by the commercial world economy privatising data collection and data metrics analysis records.
But we have a concrete solution to this entire problem. Or rather, we have a technology that can address this issue — Hedera Hashgraph. Which can also be classified under advanced blockchain technology in its latest iteration.
Hedera Hashgraph — Blockchain Version 3.0
Here is a step-by-step plan for a potential trillion-dollar start-up.
1. Create a Personal Data Activity Database on the cloud using a cloud computing platform for storing your information. If Hedera Hashgraph is used, you can use GCP (Google Cloud Platform). (Microsoft Azure is too prone to unavailability, AWS (Amazon Web Services) is expensive in comparison to GCP)
2. You should then create your personal timestamped hashgraph for all your Internet activity. This can be transparently done using the standard Hedera Hashgraph platform and its File Storage and Transaction Record-Keeping capabilities.
3. Pass a law in the international market that makes that data copyright in your name and uniquely yours — your individual profile which companies have no business exploiting without your approval. Your data should belong to you.
4. Store all transactions for each website and a record of all your internet activity on your personal hashgraph, automatically, as you browse the Web. We can do it with a wrapper around the browser. (PC/mobile/tablet)
5. Make your hashgraph open to queries from external sources, at a fixed price. We can make the price for our data customized for every individual, but to uphold social economic equality, it is better to regulate the price of your data through the government.
6. Lawmakers and leaders should make it illegal for corporate giants to obtain that data without paying an access right privilege amount as a micro-transaction to the owner of the data — you. This is a seminal change which will completely change the structure of the corporate world and of the world wide web as we know it today
7. This allows end-users to own and monetize their own data. Therefore, you are the owner of your digital profile. You own all details about yourself. And you chose what to share and what not to share. Which is how it should be.
8. Every person on the Earth who owns a computer that can access the Internet and surf websites gets monetization and a source of basic income automatically.
9. Imagine that. You are paid to randomly surf the web! For anything. And your details are stored in an account managed by you and not the company or the website you are dealing with.
Are you with me so far?
Incredible Benefits and Repercussions
The FAMGA oligarchy will stop looting the world. You can set your price for your own data on your personal master hashgraph. And if someone wants to access your data — they pay you — they access your personal hashgraph for that website, after paying you an access privilege fee as a micropayment. That money will not go to FAMGA, it will go to you. The payment can be as micropayments in cryptocurrency. And that is the overall summary of this radical new idea. This concept will democratize wealth and bring money back to the people and stop the global oligarchy that is FAMGA from making huge profits for themselves using data that does not belong to them and stockpiling all the money in the world in their corporations.
FAMGA is Selling Information that is Not Theirs to Sell
We should own our own data. Yes, websites like Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix, and Google collect statistics about everyone. But that data is theirs to collect but not theirs by right to monetize. The data belongs to each person. This is a radical and revolutionary idea that could re-establish economic equality throughout the world and stop agglomeration of the world’s wealth by the top 10% of the world’s population holding 90% of the earth’s wealth.
I realize that this idea will be met with numerous objections, such as, impractical, the idea is not fair to the corporates who collect the data, existing systems can’t be replaced, too altruistic, FAMGA will sue the living daylights out of you, large-scale change has to happen worldwide if this is to become a reality, the economy’s worldwide functioning has to be completely replaced with a new system…. And I can see the reasoning behind every single one of these objections and still many more.
However, I just have one point to make.
Were we asked for permission to access our data?
This is our property!
And when companies ask us to tick off end-user agreements that are deliberately so long that they are impossible to read and decipher even in 30 minutes, and we ‘agree’ to the Terms and Conditions under which this contract has been made, without ever knowing what those so-called Terms and Conditions are, frankly, this is a thin cover for outright intention to mislead for the sake of legal immunity against action by the consumer courts or the higher authorities.
It is malpractice that is deeply embedded into the system because it protects all the major multi-nationals from civil prosecution in every possible scenario. It is crazy that deliberately convoluted English is used to ‘communicate’ or rather, obfuscate what can easily be conveyed in 80 words of plain English. Petition for 200-word limit each on end-user licence agreements and the terms and conditions clause, anyone?
We are deliberately being played. Our fundamental rights are taken away by these multi-billion dollar corporations that make you ‘agree’ to all their ‘terms and conditions’ to do whatever they want with your private and personal data, including auctioning it off to the highest bidder. Very few people read the End-User Licence Agreement and the Terms & Conditions clause other than the lawyers and open source experts.
Maintaining Economic Equality
This system suffers from a huge flaw — if the rich are allowed to sell the data at their own rates, we could see a very quick rich getting infinitely richer loop. Because the highest advertisers should merely buy out the rich and the highest rates and the poor for a pittance. This is a serious threat and temptation for the unethical. If not checked, this problem could drive the economy’s inflation sky-high because of the wealth of a few people and make everyone else ultra-poor in comparison due to the huge amount of liquidity flowing around in the market centralized around the uber-rich. This is a trap, an infinite spiral, and should be stopped before it starts.
I have only one solution — offer the same rate for the rich and the poor. This is charity work and an attempt to overcome a major systemic problem. Let all micropayments come into a single account, and the money be equally distributed over the people of entire world. Unrealistic? Impossible? Necessary. This is simply because the amount will add up. Very fast. Especially if the rich are given arbitrarily high rates for their data because of their extra spending ability. This might sound unfair to the rich. But there is great grace and humanitarian reasons to distribute this collection equally among every man, woman, and child that enters this world. The total sum will be huge, and it is not right that that amount be limited to a few corporates in the USA. We need to be human. For this is my ambition in this project — to address the issue of economic inequality.
What Should We Do?
Step 1 — awareness. The Internet is doing a fantastic job as far as uncensored information is concerned. Freedom of speech is a fundamental right of the human person. And it is critical for true economic and social freedom all over the world. The entire world needs to be told of the sufferings of the poor. We are responsible for our society.
Step 2 — action. If everyone in the world knew honestly what was going on in countries in Africa and totalitarian regimes like China (despite all their recent success). The money collected from the data selling microtransaction needs to be divided equally between all the people of the earth, to heal, to protect, and to save.
Is this idealism? Won’t such a structure merely incentivize the rich to charge insanely high rewards as micro-transactions and the poor after to do with a pittance? I agree — this is a very real threat. But we can impose taxes on, say 10%-80% of what the micro-transaction gives to each person and collects these taxes in a real enterprise that is a completely non-profit in spirit and truth. This requires saint-like holiness — but I have faith that humanity can find an answer to this very pressing problem.
We live with such inequality! And now — we have a chance to change it. To ensure income to every single person who can access the Internet and make that category encompass the whole world through charity and works of compassion. So, what are we going to do with it?
I hope this article inspires some of us. Those of us who can make a difference. Those with the money to effect change. Those with the technological skills to make this concept a reality. And, most importantly, the engineers at Hedera Hashgraph, learning how blockchain technology can completely transform the world we live in — for good.
May you feel the joy of making a concrete difference in the lives of millions of people. And may the happiness of true charity, true altruism, and the wonderful effect this single article can have on the entire world inspire all who are reading this to make this not just a concept but reality.