Citizen control of their data to benefit their local city

Loyal Free app is not exclusive to Lincoln benefits neither the city nor local businesses.

Keith Parkins
Mar 24 · 4 min read
Loyal Free app is not exclusive to Lincoln benefits neither the city nor local businesses / The Lincolnite

By contrast with Barcelona and other forward looking innovative cities, in Lincoln they do it differently, encourage use of private apps, handing over of personal data to be abused.

What we see is yet another example of Lincoln BIG a waste of space, squandering of public money, unnecessary levy on local businesses, illustrating why it should be wound up and replaced by a local community fund controlled and accountable to the local community and local businesses.

When someone says they are ticking all the boxes you know they are spouting nonsense.

The app, Loyal Free, is not exclusive to Lincoln, does nothing to benefit Lincoln, let alone local businesses. And do visitors really want an ‘ultimate retail experience’ or to discover something different?

Visitors I talk to visit towns for something different, not for the same crap corporate chains can be found in every ghastly shopping centre across the country.

There is no such thing as a free lunch. Loyal Free is not free, personal data is collected and abused. Everything on the phone is collected, including location data, indeed cannot sign up unless agree. If sign in with facebook, the default log in, have granted access to all personal data on facebook, and that of friends on facebook.

According to Companies House, net assets of only £10,500 and previously known as Spider Web Solutions. The name most apt, a spider traps prey in a web and sucks out the life blood, Loyal Free ensnares then drains the data of unsophisticated users.

Data compliant gdpr?

Any local business that has signed up is showing signs of desperation and clutching at straws. Also showing contempt for their customers and their personal data. Are these the local businesses we should be supporting?

Anyone foolishly signed up to this app would be wise to uninstall.

Instead of me-too copycat worst examples from clones of Lincoln BIG, look further afield where real innovation is taking place.

Contrast with Barcelona. Software is developed as Open Source, citizens are encouraged to participate, once developed the software is available for other cities to use and adapt.

The software is developed to benefit Barcelona, its citizens and local businesses.

Citizens grant explicit permission for their personal data to be collected. In return they receive benefits from the city. The data is anonymised, then made available to local businesses to use.

Citizens can also use the data to question what the city is doing on their behalf. The exact opposite to what is seen locally in Lincoln, an arrogant contempt by the local council in cahoots with the local Co-op for the wishes of the local community, local businesses. Lincoln BIG is dominated and controlled by Big Business.

Barcelona has also developed a social media platform decidim.org a trivial facebook clone it is not. It is not for uploading selfies, something Lincoln BIG recently encouraged, but can build campaigns with others on matters which concern life in the locality and hold the local council to account. Decidim.org is one of the largest online communities for participatory democracy in the world.

Think what a difference if decidim.org was running in Lincoln. Would we see Sincil Street trashed, local businesses destroyed, would Central Market be an embarrassment, Usher Gallery closed for a tacky wedding venue?

Data in Barcelona is seen as a common good, not something to be hoovered up and traded by tech companies.

All these projects treat data-sharing as a means to improving citizens’ lives in the digital age and creating public value, not a route to profit for a few Big Tech firms.

In Lincoln we could have a local currency, or failing that use fair coin, notes with local features, an app with a digital currency.

In Sheffield, Now Then not the usual glossy freebie magazine that goes straight in the bin. Published by Opus Independents, a not-for-profit, articles worth reading, and never repeat never works with chains or promotes chains.

Not only a magazine, also an app with useful content of which the magazine only a small part, supported by local businesses and community groups, promotes trade, culture and debate within Sheffield, and no, does not steal and abuse personal data.

Sheffield Bid publish a guide to local businesses.

Independent Life, a local magazine for Leeds and York, publish a guide to indie businesses in Leeds.

By contrast Visit Lincoln which masquerades as a tourism body, acts as a quasi-PR agency, takes money to promote chains. And when comes out with crap like ‘destination branding’ has completely lost the plot.

No surprise Visit Lincoln promoting Loyal Free.

Light on a Dark Mountain

The machine is stuttering and the engineers are in panic. They are wondering if perhaps they do not understand it as well as they imagined. They are wondering whether they are controlling it at all or whether, perhaps, it is controlling them.— The Dark Mountain Manifesto

Keith Parkins

Written by

Writer, thinker, deep ecologist, social commentator, activist, enjoys music, literature and good food.

Light on a Dark Mountain

The machine is stuttering and the engineers are in panic. They are wondering if perhaps they do not understand it as well as they imagined. They are wondering whether they are controlling it at all or whether, perhaps, it is controlling them.— The Dark Mountain Manifesto

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