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Numerous reports have come from both inside and outside the industry about how large swathes of citizens’ data are at risk or being exploited. In such a time, when the world is dependent on digital data, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology stand as a bulwark against surveillance and data exploitation.
The worries that many have about the current state of privacy on the internet are not without reason. It seems that there is an ever increasing number of data leak, data selling, and exploitation cases in a world where everything seems to be digital.
Recently, a report by PreciseSecurity showed that the states of Georgia, Florida, and California accounted for one-third of United States’ identity theft cases in 2019, amounting to about 211,00 instances. The total figure was more than 650,000.
Most of the studied cases were related to credit card fraud, which happens all too often. Privacy remains one of the driving factors behind the adoption and growth of decentralized technologies. Blockchain technologies are well documented as providing solutions against payment fraud as well as in protecting the identity and data of consumers.
At this point, the success and quality of the Brave browser is well known, with numerous sources unanimously praising it for its privacy-centric qualities. Brave has also quickly grown its user-base, and this rapid growth is present on all devices.
Brave itself seems to be taking the matter of the current state of privacy on the web very seriously. The team has a history of releasing multiple reports that offer some dire conclusions on how user data is exploited, including a recent report on how data on UK council websites were being exploited.
On March 16, Brave took that a step further by filing a GDPR complaint against what it describes as Google’s monopoly of data, which is sure to set off numerous debates. Both Google and Facebook have been in hot water because they use data and generate revenue from it.
Meanwhile, Brave has installed a new feature that prevents browser tracking, even when the browser is closed, by preventing browser fingerprinting. This is one of the many features available with Brave that protects users almost completely.
However, Brave is only one entity in this fight against privacy abuse — many other projects are bringing their own solution.
Cryptocurrencies and Distributed Ledger Technology or DLT is an electronic system or database for recording information that is not run by one... More (DLT) by their very nature are pro-consumer, distributing power more evenly among stakeholders and giving users the say in how a product or service should operate.
One of the most discussed niches — which has even the likes of Microsoft interested — is the creation of Digital Identity solutions that give the user complete control of their data. The niche of digital identity management has several projects and established companies working on it, including Civic, SelfKey, Hydro, Microsoft and IBM.
By preventing a centralized entity from holding this data, we can already remove the many egregious types of behavior that occurs in the advertising space and the internet in general. That’s not to say that the advertising industry will fall apart — Brave gives users the option of receiving advertisements, which is a huge difference.
The blockchain’s immutable and decentralized nature is the ideal step forward for a fairer and free internet, one where the day to day operations of the internet are not dictated by a few powerful monopolies. It is still some way away, but the solutions exist before us.
What the web did with its invention for information availability will soon be bolstered by more democratic processes and total ownership of data — but we have to fight for it.
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