mytiki
Published in

mytiki

It’s YOUR data.

So why don’t you have a say, or better yet, rights to it? At TIKI, we are fixing this.

Like all our favorite ideas, it started with a “what if” so simple it felt wrong.

What if we got to choose what happens to our data?

If you’re like me, what went thru your head was YEAH! Then wait, why don’t we? Then, don’t we already? Then oh… well, that would certainly change the dynamic.

Choice. It’s maybe the most fundamental right we have. We’re constantly making choices. Just look around; our lives are full of choices, people we talk to, places we go, things we do, stuff we buy. Yet, online, we have no say, no choice, over what happens to OUR data.

Naysayers will say, don’t use certain apps if you don’t want them to have your data. I challenge you to even access the internet without data collected on you. Hell, these days, good luck living without data collected on you. Need a prescription? Your data pharmacy data, harvested. Want a bank account? Data harvested. Shelter, food, warmth, data, data, and more data. That is not a choice.

Your data. Exactly, your data. You don’t say Google’s data or Facebook’s data; you say my data. My implies ownership, and you’re right. You own it. So why don’t you have any rights to it? Ownership rights, aka property rights, certainly aren’t new. We apply them to everything else we own, literally classified as a human right by the UN.

Straight from Wikipedia:

  1. the right to use the good
  2. the right to earn income from the good
  3. the right to transfer the good to others, alter it, abandon it, or destroy it (the right to ownership cessation)

In TIKI terms, we like to call these see, control, and monetize. It’s less of a mouthful, but the idea is the same. If you owned a car, and Ford or Toyota, drove it whenever they wanted, then sold it to someone without telling you, and you didn’t get paid. You’d be livid! That’s what’s going on with our data.

This lack of rights, this lack of choice, broke the internet.

No, it’s not too late; we can fix it. We believe the key is to provide users with:

  1. the information needed to make informed decisions quickly,
  2. the methods to easily execute these decisions.

At TIKI, we build everything using this concept. One of our favorite examples is you can turn off facial recognition tracking on Facebook. Almost no one knows about this option, and good luck finding it. Our approach is to alert the user, explain in easy-to-understand terms precisely what is tracked, how it’s used, and what will happen if you turn it off. In this case, FB will stop auto-tagging you in photos. Then give the user one simple toggle switch and let them choose. Some will keep it on; some will turn it off. Data doesn’t have to be complicated.

When we say “the information needed to make informed decisions,” it’s more than just a description, and it’s certainly not some long legal terms of service. To make an informed decision, we must know a) what will happen and b) what’s in it for me? These are incentives, and they’re the driving factor behind our choices.

Incentives:

  • Services — for example, in exchange for money and effort, you can place your sensitive documents in a safe deposit box at the bank. Likewise, for Facebook to auto-tag your photos, you can allow them to track your face.
  • Emotional — could be a donation to a charity, a moral belief, ethical stance, or any number of other “noble causes.” Maybe you spend hours writing for Wikipedia because you believe knowledge should be free and accessible.
  • Financial — we all know this one, in exchange for something we have or do, we receive money.

While the concept is quite simple, the neverending list of data issues can somedays feel quite daunting. As the old saying goes, how do you eat an elephant? one bite at a time. For us, it helps to break it down into types of issues.

Types:

  • Privacy — how much of your data is collected
  • Security — how is your data protected
  • Safety — how is your data used

All that’s left is to decide what features to build and in what order! It’s where the fun really starts. Given a truly user-centric mission, we’re letting users ultimately decide (feedback.mytiki.com). Users vote on their favorites and even suggest new ones.

Take your email data, for example. Some of the very cool features we’re building right now are:

Privacy:

  • See what data of yours is out there and get paid for it. Or request its deletion or a combo.

Safety:

  • See who is using your email address for spam and unsubscribe. Or who is using your data, but you’re not using their service anymore.

Security:

  • Get alerted to (or report) sites where your data is vulnerable and lock down your account, restrict, or even delete.

Hopefully, this starts to paint a mental picture of how we are approach the problem. One by one, feature by feature. We’re building solutions to user data Privacy, Security, and Safety by providing the information needed to make and execute informed decisions quickly and easily.

Together we will take back our data
Mike, Anna & the TIKI team
mytiki.com

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store