• Data intermediaries are middlemen between those who provide data and those who want to use it for profit.
• Data asymmetry is when the steward of the data has more access than the contributor.
• Web3 developers are trying to put control of data back in the hands of consumers.
What Are Data Intermediaries?
Data intermediaries, or middlemen, are mediators between those who make their data available (users) and those who want to leverage that data for profit (companies). They govern personal data, chop it up into datasets, and sell them or make them accessible while convincing users they can be trusted with their personal information. Examples of companies that have been given user information include Google, Facebook, Instagram, Tinder, Uber, Strava, PayPal and WhatsApp. This exchange often turns users into a marketable product without them even realizing it as these companies also collect facial recognition and voice messaging data. Fraudsters can also use legitimate datasets to correlate stolen data from hackers sold on the dark web.
The Problems With Data Intermediaries
The traditional Web 2.0 exchange of user’s data in exchange for digital services often puts power into the hands of intermediaries instead of users as they have complete control over how their personal information is used and distributed. As our data becomes increasingly valuable and open to misuse by bad actors, Web3 developers have stepped up to disrupt this model by introducing things like Self Sovereign ID and Data Unions which give users back control over their privacy and security online.
What Is Data Asymmetry?
Data asymmetry is an inequality in access between two entities where the steward of the data has more value out of the exchange than the contributor does. An example would be using Google Maps for directions but not getting any benefit from it other than being able to navigate efficiently – Google gets all the value out of having access to your location information without giving you anything in return.
How Can We Fix Data Asymmetry?
Web3 developers are working hard on solutions that will bring fairness back into this exchange such as Self Sovereign ID systems which allow users full control over how their personal information is used online. This will prevent stewards from misusing user information while still allowing them access to necessary datasets in order to generate revenue or provide better services..
Data intermediaries play a huge role in our lives today but there needs to be an equitable balance between what we get out of sharing our personal information with these companies and what they get out of it too – otherwise we’re just leaving ourselves vulnerable without any real benefit from doing so! Web3 developers are providing solutions that look set to restore some fairness back into this equation but only time will tell if these solutions really do work as promised!