Today’s consumers are ready to trade their data for personalization, but have rapidly growing privacy concerns. In a survey by Entrust, a provider of digital security and credentials, only 21% of respondents trust established global brands to protect their personal information.
As privacy pressures increase on big tech, these companies begin to make significant investments in security solutions.
Regulations around the world are developing rapidly
Internet usage increased over the past year as more people spent time at home due to COVID-19 lockdowns. And as usage has increased, so has consumer awareness of how data could be used or misused. For example, a recent survey by Startpage, a privacy-focused search engine company, found that 62% of Americans are more aware of how their data is used online, including targeting ads based on their browsing history and location.
Related: The data economy is a dystopian nightmare
With concerns about how businesses collect data, new laws are rapidly evolving in the United States and abroad to address these concerns. In 2016 the European Union passed the General Data Protection Regulation. Two years later, California signed the California Consumer Privacy Act, the most robust federal data protection act in history. Since then, Virginia has been the only other US state to successfully pass a comprehensive law, the Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act.
As more states try to add privacy laws for consumers, it is clear that users’ opinions and policies are changing. However, privacy protection and its protection is incredibly complex, and these toothless bills could have the opposite effect – giving consumers confidence that their data is protected when often it isn’t.
Related: DPN vs. VPN: The Beginning of Decentralized Web Privacy
Companies will invest in data protection and security technology
As 2020 started, millions of people shifted their lives online – went to school remotely and attended virtual happy hours – and exposed more personal information to a barely regulated internet. Not only have people incorporated more data collection into their daily lives, but they have been led to believe that location tracking could have public health benefits.
Thanks to COVID-19, the depth of our data sharing flaws has been exposed. As we move forward, everyone needs to raise awareness and promote best practices related to privacy and data protection.
Related: We don’t need immunity passports, we need verifiable IDs
Is there a solution?
As consumer expectations continue to drive privacy reviews, there is an opportunity to stay ahead in this evolving area, but with new entrants ready to enter, that opportunity won’t last very long. According to Crunchbase, investors pumped $ 7.8 billion into cybersecurity companies last year, up 22% from 2019 to 2020, and this year, after just six months, the number is even higher, hitting the US $ 9 billion mark -Dollars exceeded.
Let’s take a look at the startups paving the way for a post-pandemic world as data ownership is paramount. From cleaning personal data to business-oriented software designed to help companies comply with the law, these five startups are helping users regain control and ownership.
OpenMined is an open source community, and the company’s goal is to make the world more privacy-friendly by lowering the barrier to entry for private AI technologies. Its mission is to create an accessible ecosystem of privacy tools and education by adding advanced techniques in cryptography and differential privacy to popular libraries like PyTorch. The company claims that through its services, people and organizations can host private data sets so that data scientists can train or query data they “can’t see”. Data owners are in complete control – data is never copied, moved, or shared.
Anjuna provides hardware protection for data, applications and workloads, virtually eliminating data insecurity. According to the team, it ensures that applications work regardless of their infrastructure, which simplifies operations while locking down data security. The software enables IT to “lift and move” applications and data within the hardware-encrypted boundaries of a secure enclave in order to protect them from malicious software, insiders and malicious actors.
Fortanix secures sensitive data in public, hybrid, multi-cloud and private cloud environments and enables customers to run even the most sensitive applications in any environment. Fortanix says companies will have the freedom to accelerate their digital transformation, combine and analyze private data, and deploy secure applications that protect the privacy of those they care for.
Duality Technologies addresses the rapidly growing need of companies in all regulated industries to work together on sensitive data. According to the company, the platform enables secure analysis of encrypted data in order to gain insights from sensitive data without revealing the data itself. Its technology protects valuable analysis models from exposure to external cooperation partners during the calculations. The Duality SecurePlus states that the platform enables companies to use advanced cryptographic methods for real data collaboration while complying with data protection regulations and protecting their intellectual property.
Leap Year develops technologies to address these problems in a scalable, consistent and future-proof way. According to the company, some of the largest companies in the world can break data silos, form data partnerships, and accelerate machine learning adoption, all with mathematically proven data protection.
Related: No more pushes and pushbacks: Digital ID solves the data protection dilemma
The need for Web 3.0
In retrospect, the social changes we’ve seen over the past year are major hotspots highlighting major flaws in today’s existence of the internet, the design of privacy laws, and the hidden ways that big tech uses our data.
During the pandemic, companies like Google, Facebook, Zoom, and Amazon have benefited greatly. Despite the loss of privacy and consumer choice, Big Tech makes its money monetizing user data. Although we use these things on a daily basis, these platforms in Web 2.0 are a breeding ground for exploitation, hacks and breeches.
Related: Striking: the domino effect of DeFi on NFTs and the introduction of Web 3.0
As we adapt to a new world, blockchain will inevitably play a role in a decentralized future. Are You Ready for the Web 3.0 Revolution?
This article does not provide investment advice or recommendations. Every step of investing and trading involves risk, and readers should do their own research when making a decision.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed herein are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.
Anne Fauvre-Willis is Chief Operating Officer of Oasis Labs and previously worked for the Oasis Network, a privacy-enabled blockchain platform for open finance and responsible data management. Prior to Oasis Labs, Anne worked as a product manager / product marketing manager for the iPhone at Apple. She also worked for former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright at the Albright Stonebridge Group. Anne holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Georgetown University.