Could Data Unions Reshape Digital Privacy and Ownership of Personal Data in Blockchain?
Updated: Sep 16, 2022
When it comes to your personal information and data, tech companies are greedy and want as much information as possible to sell for profit. The more these establishments know about you, the more profit they make.
Tech monopolies like Facebook, Amazon, and Google are unimaginably rich due to their ability to improve the user experience from algorithmic-generated data bundled from internet users. The Internet of Things (IoT) has made data even more ubiquitous, allowing companies to collate as much data as possible while monetizing them without users' consent.
This hurdle in the data economy spurred the introduction of the Data Union. It was developed to ensure ordinary people (data sources) who produce these seemingly value-laden data can retain parts of the value they create. If you are in an effectively democratic or populist government - that sounds nice.
This iteration provides a solution to the inequitable value distribution between internet users and tech companies, and even more; users can now transfer their data from tech giants into Web3 assets! Let's take a closer look at Data Union and learn how to leverage them.
What is Data Union?
Data Union is a DAO framework & crowdselling mechanism that collates users' real-time data in a collective pool and efficiently distributes shares from the revenue when data buyers pay to access their participants' data. This framework runs on the xDai chain, enabling cheaper transactions, reasonable decentralization, and mature bridges to the Ethereum mainnet and Binance smart chain.
Like every other union, a Data Union requires the amalgamation of diverse groups of people to achieve a common purpose - value for data. A person's data does not hold substantial value, and an individual cannot negotiate the price of their data. Tech companies care about collective data because when combined in a Union Data, this information can aggregate into an attractive product for data buyers to extract insights. Data giants like Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Amazon have been able to capture the individual data market by aggregating feeds of personal data into products they easily retail to big data buyers.
To function seamlessly, Data Unions comprise four underlying technologies:
Ethereum: Ethereum's smart contract is used for storing and transferring contract agreements and maintaining the Data Union's state and all kinds of bookkeeping on the network.
Streamr Network: This is a decentralized pub/sub message broker for transporting the data from the crowd of data producers to buyers of Data.
Core: This application provides a friendly interface for setting up and managing activities in the union.
Marketplace: This is a portal for selling the data to giant data buyers.
Data Unions are built on the xDai sidechain, with a conduit to the Ethereum mainnet. Participants' data is transported by the Streamr Network, deployed via the Core app, and published on the marketplace exchange portal.
Steps to Create a Data Union
Create Streams: On the core interface, choose Data Union, then create a group for gathering members. Creating Streams also involves setting up a smart contract to automate the crowdselling process.
Deploy the Data Union Contract: The deployment process on the Ethereum mainnet officially sets up a Data Union. On the core interface, click 'continue' to deploy the Data Union.
Integrate into the end-user app: For the Ethereum mainnet contract deployment transaction, you will need a Web3 wallet with an amount of ETH for gas fees. Members also join and are authenticated via shared secrets to streamline the on-ramp member-gathering process.