Data that could identify you is private, and we must protect it. Decentralized Wallet: You, as a human, own your data. You keep them with you as you have your physical wallet. When someone needs a bit of information, you decide what to send and how long they can have it. The data will be available only until they deliver the food to you and then will expire.
How many times did you receive a food delivery and see your name, address, and phone number on the tax receipt?
How many packages did you get from a courier with the same data written with giant letters?
Data that could identify you is private, and we must protect it. At the same time, your delivery partner needs those details so they can fulfill your order.
Are we in a Catch 22 type of situation here?
Not at all.
Let's see the flow of data in this complicated situation:
- You order food via your favorite app, and you give your name, address, and phone to them.
- Being a platform in the middle, the food app forwards your details to the actual place where they prepare the food.
- Then the restaurant uses a courier company (or a shared delivery service) to deliver the order to you, and of course, they will share your details with them.
Let's decompose that and look at a few particular facts:
- You can feel your data flowing from system to system without your control or awareness.
- You also cannot be sure that the data in motion is protected. The chance that someone else could have your data exists. Modern internet technologies could prevent that, but are we sure that everyone on the chain is using them?
- For sure, you know that the data in rest is not protected because they print out the tax receipt and hand it over to a 3rd party without your consent, and you could imagine all possible threats.
- You don't have the visibility of who is doing what with your protected personal data.
- Any party of this chain believes that they need your details stored and printed out to "help you" get your food or item. And you even pay them to abuse you. Too harsh? Nope.
What is the solution, then?
Let me get something straight. We all need service like that – where you can order stuff and get it at home.
The question here is – can we get a service that:
- believes your data is precious and it will use it only when needed;
- with your permission, and
- without storing it?
Let's build a concept together.
The courier needs to deliver you some food. Before she leaves the station, she would need to know where to go. Remember – they don't have your data.
Then she opens up an application and initiates a request to you to share the details.
Then while sitting on the couch you receive an alert for the request. The courier is requesting the first name and the last name among the rest.
You think they don't need them for your food delivery. They could need your address and maybe your phone. So you select what you want to share and send it to them by selecting data from your decentralized wallet, where you keep your details secured and encrypted.
Then the courier receives that, and the data will be available only until they deliver the food to you and then will expire and not be visible or stored anywhere.
Here, the concept is that you, as a human you own your data. You keep them safe with you as you have your physical wallet. When someone needs a bit of information, you decide what to send and how long they can have it.
The data we share with random parties must be protected. The best way to do that is to have the control at your disposal and not count on 3rd parties to do that for you. Most vendors are using the data you shared with them for the means you never agreed to.
So why don't we take the control back if the technology supports that?
Food for thought before closing the topic
- If you recycle, how many times did you make your data unreadable before throwing the envelope in the bin?
- If you look at the paper recycling bin that sits in front of your building, how many names, phones, and addresses do you think you will find?
Smile more and think about protecting your privacy every day.
Image courtesy of ThoughtCatalog - published under CreativeCommons license.
Also published here.