Browsing preferences and data of today's Internet user are big business. Data brokers make millions of dollars providing advertising companies with your information. A new company called Datawallet is looking to change that with the help of blockchain technology.
Datawallet has created a blockchain-based data exchange which allows users to assume control of their personal information by storing it in a wallet similar to those which are used to track digital token transactions. An individual can then use the Datawallet app to essentially market private data to marketing companies and advertisers. In theory, users could reap a tidy sum by becoming their own data broker.
The concept has found favor with those who follow blockchain ICOs. The ICO for Datawallet raised $40 million in capital. The funds have been committed to developing the Datawallet marketplace. A healthy number of banks, marketing companies, and even appliance manufacturers are already testing the waters of the new platform.
The Datawallet app is available for both Android and iOS devices. The founders of the company make a strong selling point by telling users that they may be able to sell information on their Twitter and Facebook profile to marketers. Advertisers are better able to target specific demographics when they have access to age groups, interests, and other variables that can be gleaned from data.
Many see Datawallet as a positive alternative to having one's data collected without consent. The creator of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, recently admitted to Congress that his social media platform has collected data for years so that it can be used for advertising purposes. The founders of Datawallet believe that an individual should decide who can access their preferences. According to founder Lion Engel, individuals should also be able to market their data to prospective buyers if they choose to do so.
It's a novel concept, but Datawallet's ability to sustain a private marketplace for individual data brokerage remains to be seen. If social media platforms are already collecting personal data, how much value for marketing companies will the individual be able to create?