When you hear the word “regulation” – the first thing that comes to mind is bureaucracy. Especially, when it comes to the European Union!
The EU directive of data-protection, privacy and general regulation of its data-economy is largely tied to the upcoming launch of the GDPR regime in May 2018. As with every regulation, there are perceived winners and losers – and ample room for innovation within the regulatory framework.
Reselling consumer behavior data has been the bedrock of almost all the major online platforms in the last decade. Facebook, Pinterest, Reddit, LinkedIn and even Google – their business models are all predicated on massive user adoption and then monetization through selling access to the users based on behavior – Search in Google’s case and connections in Facebook’s case. Most consumers don’t directly pay for “Free” services like Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, LinkedIn. They however do pay for it – indirectly by buying from services that advertise on each of those platforms. So – to say that it’s essentially free, belies that fact.
GDPR & Data
The digital exhaust that people leave – breadcrumbs of behavioral information is valuable to brands and advertisers. Google, more than a decade ago, was one of the first companies to effectively monetize behavior – “search” – Search was a behavior and Google, through it advertising auction model – monetized the search behavior efficiently. Most people did not understand the co-relation, at least in terms of what they were providing google in exchange of a “Free” search tool.
GDPR is the first piece of regulation that has come about to regulate the data collection economy. Naturally, when any regulation is enabled or established, there are folks for and against it. Salesforce for example has announced that it’s shutting down SalesforceIQ (a lower priced CRM) since it’s costing them too much to be GDPR compliant for that tool.
Balancing the power equation
In the data-economy, the power is largely with the platform providers. This is inevitable. The platforms are designed to consolidate data and resell it – in aggregate or via targeted access. GDPR attempts to shift that balance. The core ethos behind GDPR is to make sure that power is established back to the consumer and privacy is taken seriously along with rules of what companies can do (or can’t do) with the digital exhaust.
Innovation through the prism of regulation
With the advent of blockchain, the decentralized economy is getting created. This decentralization, directly helps the core ethos of GDPR. No one company is 100% responsible for data and users can choose to participate or not in systems.
Blockchain based systems are open – open source as well as protect anonymity. The biggest advantage of blockchain systems is the ability for participants to benefit from the value that they are creating. For example, in Facebook or LinkedIn – users who create content never see a dime. Their content is used to connect and create an marketplace – where advertisers bid for access, but content producers never see a dime. This is by design – since Facebook and LinkedIN are providing us the platform.
With blockchain based systems, participants can benefit intrinsically from their contribution. Moreover, folks who enable the eco-systems to thrive, creating more connections or providing more content are financially rewarded more – in the form of coins that are co-related to the utility or value that users are providing.
GDPR & the 4 Important Tenets
The team @ QuestionPro will be hosting a webinar around GDPR and Data Collection – and how companies need to retool themselves to be GDPR compliant. While GDPR itself has over 58 chapters, we’ll be dissecting that and provide everyone with the 4 key elements of GDPR that all companies that are either in EU or touch EU citizens need to think and brace for : Free Webinar : How is GDPR going to affect you?