The Blockchain Solution to Facebook & Google Privacy Concerns
This year, user data privacy has become a major concern, and rightfully so. It is difficult to ignore the Facebook data breach that allowed an outside third-party to use more than 50 million users’ data for political campaigning. Cambridge Analytica targeted voters with perfectly tailored and personalized ads to essentially help Donald Trump win the election.
To make the matter even worse, none of the Facebook users knew their data had been compromised — they never consented to their data being used by anyone. The US Federal Trade Commission is already investigating Facebook’s lax privacy policies, but the real problem lies elsewhere.
What should we do to protect our data?
Some people claim that new regulations may be the answer. The European Union is making a move against the two internet moguls, Facebook and Google, to protect customers’ data. Starting from May 25, 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is going to hold businesses to a higher standard under a threat of financial penalties. Suddenly, dealing with European customers will become quite costly.
The “Middlemen” Monopoly
Free services like Google and Facebook provide, no doubt, the best search engine and social network experiences in the world. But there is a cost of which not many users are aware. All of our search history is sent to Google, along with our actual real-time location. On top of that, if you are a Facebook user, the site collects your information through all social options such as “shares,” “likes,” and “status updates.”
Author Andrew Lewis hits disturbingly close to home, writing, "If you are not paying for it, you're not the customer; you're the product being sold.”
In this business model, Google and Facebook stand between advertisers and consumers. With all of the data we willingly provide, the “middlemen” know precisely what we like, what we want, and how we behave online. Businesses buy their services to connect ads with prospective customers based on our digital profiles.
If you are familiar with terms like Social Media Marketing or Search Engine Marketing, as well as services like Google Analytics and Facebook Ads, you won't be surprised that the two giants are retaining a monopoly in a $200 billion online advertising industry.
It is a win-win situation, where one side reaches to a wider consumer base and expects a higher conversion rate while the other gets paid.
Our data is just a commodity in this model.
The Blockchain Solution
Even though blockchain is still mainly associated with cryptocurrency, the technology is already revolutionizing online marketing. As IBM’s CEO Ginni Rometty claims boldly, “What the Internet did for communications, blockchain will do for trusted transactions.” She has a point, too.
Blockchain is changing the way we connect with the world through the introduction of an open, secure ledger. Such “public history” ensures that both sellers and buyers — businesses and customers — can verify each other’s credibility. There is no room for falsehoods and deception when both sides can be held accountable for their claims and promises.
Blockchain builds trust and eliminates the risk involved in the transaction.
The possibility of information breaches disappears when there is no central authority collecting and controlling the data. There is no need for the “middlemen” in a decentralized system, as advertisers can communicate directly with website owners in real time.
This direct P2P connection encourages companies to share leads — data about potential customers who contact a business in search of a specific product or service — as soon as they are available. This way companies can get back some of their budget lost on unsuccessful marketing by exchanging the unused leads and getting paid for them with tokens.
Another advantage of the blockchain marketing, perhaps the most significant considering the recent privacy issues, is that the power over personal data is returned to the customers themselves.
We control our own data and decide whether we want to share it with others or not. The network shows the appreciation for our consent by awarding us with real-time perfectly-tailored offers as well as tokens earned directly to the digital wallet.
The bottom line is: Blockchain ensures fairness. Without a third party, the customers are in control of their data and receive the best offers. The companies, on the other hand, save on expenses and are able to reach that one perfect customer that really counts.
A New Horizon
Blockchain technology is, without a doubt, the future of web marketing. A truly decentralized network guarantees transparency that is the key to building trust between customers and businesses. It also ensures the data we share is safe.
The ceaseless click-bait pseudo articles and the avalanche of pop-ups have created an ecosystem of suspicion. People no longer trust web advertisements. By eliminating the “middlemen” and giving back the control of customers’ personal data to the customers themselves, we can clear the air.
In an environment where every click counts and every customer’s needs are considered, this new sort of marketing can help all businesses prosper.
About LeadCoin’s Founder, Shmulik Grizim:
Shmulik Grizim enters the cryptocurrency world after founding and heading three successful tech companies within the SaaS, web design and digital marketing industries including Webydo, a patent-protected web platform with a global network of more than 300K users. Webydo was named by Forbes as one of the five startups that are reshaping the web economy. Grizim specializes in building new digital corporations from the ground up, constantly searching for solutions that promote the creation of a better web for all.