The Current State of Your Data, and TIKI’s Hopeful Future
The time for action is now.
An industry closing in on $400 billion in total value is presently fueled by the harvesting of our personal data.
From simple things like email addresses and country of residence to increasingly personal things like internet browsing history, real-time geo-location, and biometric data, nearly everything we do is tracked by the computers we log into or the phones we keep in our pockets or by our sides nearly every hour of the day.
In 2022, there is increasing awareness when it comes to data privacy, but aside from pioneering legislation such as the GDPR in Europe and American local-level legislation such as California’s CCPA, there have not been appropriate solutions that address the prominent data problem from both a user and business perspective.
GDPR, CCPA, and other similar regulations are essentially a “shut off” option in which a user can “opt out” of businesses selling their personal information to entities such as other businesses, or, more frequently, ad brokers, who then target users with highly personalized advertisements based on your mood, location, purchasing history, interests, browsing history, and so much more.
If we wanted to live in a world where personal data was completely “shut off,” we would achieve an increased level of privacy, but at what cost? If the only use cases of data were the negative ones, the kinds that lead to censorship, eradication of privacy, digital nudging, and invasive advertisements, then the idea of shutting of the steam of personal data completely seems like a logical choice.
Not so fast.
It should come as a surprise to nobody that data has the power for tremendous good. Businesses rely on user data in order to improve and optimize their products and the customer experience. Researchers and academics rely on data in order to propose new solutions to societal issues ranging from income inequality to treatments for physical and psychological health ailments. The pre-GDPR landscape was one-sided in that users were taken advantage of by confusing Terms of Service agreements and privacy policies that leave personal information exposed, leaving the individual vulnerable to the numerous negative data use cases listed above. The movement toward “shutting off” personal data, if played out in totality, would be one-sided in that businesses would suffer the consequences of a lack of actionable data. Positive data use cases, such as improving products and services and treatments for ailments, among many others, would be greatly reduced.
Major internet players such as Meta would argue small and medium-sized businesses are already struggling immensely in the wake of Apple’s iOS 14.5 changes in 2021 and subsequent “privacy-oriented” practices that make it harder for them to access data. The immense amount of data we create every single day powers the innovation and improvement of the products and services we use every day. Shutting data off slows down innovation and improvement, making these products and services worse.
Each of these possible paths proposes a bandage, but does not offer a solution. Data is not going away. Those seeking data will invent new ways of acquiring it, and the end result could be messier than the data environment we currently live in. Staring at one of the most important junctures in the history of mankind (we take data seriously), we believe the only proper solution is to create a new data economy that benefits everyone and gives power back to the users who have for so long received the short end of the stick.
With TIKI, we’re calling on users to build the new data economy with us. Instead of your data being harvested without your consent, users spearhead a new data marketplace where you can choose who can access your data, for what purpose, for how long, all while receiving actual rewards (loyalty points, discounts, money, and much more).
Privacy is not binary. It is a sliding scale based on a person’s own preference. Some are willing to share things like Netflix watch history to get better product recommendations or their PlayStation crash reports to improve the playability of their Call of Duty video game. Some would say heck no to geolocation data being shared to Meta, but are completely fine with sharing it to improve the functionality of Waze or Uber.
With TIKI, users have the choice.
It's time to choose better data.