Personal privacy has increasingly been considered something of an unalienable right. However, the knowledge that Google keeps records of all your Amazon purchases seems shocking, if not illegal.
Nevertheless, the online giant discloses that it keeps records of all purchases in order to help users track data.
However, the information is also accessible over the entire range of Google services.
Simply put: Google knows what you buy, your habits, and what you will buy.
Why Should Google Collect Your Data?
The information is a bit disturbing, even for the most hardened Google-philes. A history of purchases can be used with some simple analytics to create best-case advertising options for retailers — a service Google charges a hefty premium for.
And no wonder. Online retailers are happy to pay Google to target their advertising to those most likely to buy. Culling out the least-likely and focusing on the most-likely means more sales-per-dollar.
It’s a win-win — except for consumers. Data privacy is effectively neutralized as users are unable to control where that purchase information is being used.
According to former National Security Agency researcher Patrick Jackson:
This is your data. Why should it even leave your phone? Why should it be collected by someone when you don’t know what they’re going to do with it?
Blockchain Options for Data Privacy
The answer, according to some, is a change in technology.
Information is collected and stored by centralized data servers like Google — but some are calling for the decentralization of that data. They argue for moving purchase information onto the blockchain and allowing only the specific user to have and give access. This could be accomplished simply using private keys for data, much like keys for Bitcoin (BTC) storage.
Such a system increases consumer autonomy. For those desiring to keep their data private, blockchain protects information through decentralization. For those willing to be pitched by online retailers, information is easily made public.
With the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI), better tracking software, and growing interconnectivity on the Internet of Things (IoT), these issues will only deepen. Google may be the biggest offender, but data privacy touches every corner of internet marketing and purchases.
Do you think blockchain technology is the best way to safeguard consumer purchase data, or should Google be forced to shield its users’ data internally? Let us know in the comments below!