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How to build trust with companies that seek increasingly intimate data about each of us? 

By  Thomas Busuttil - 01/31/2017

The OuiShare Fest 2016 largely confirmed the prediction of Rachel Botsman, pioneer and guru of this same economy who said in 2010: “Trust will be the currency of the 21st century”.

The OuiShare Fest 2016, an unmissable event to understand the major developments in the collaborative economy in the coming years, which took place at the end of May in Paris, largely confirmed the prediction of Rachel Botsman, pioneer and guru of this same economy. who said in 2010: “Trust will be the currency of the 21st century”.

The convergence between "big data", connected objects and the rise of an ever more personalized society brings us, at a frantic pace, into a world where the quantity of data available and necessary to ensure this hyper-personalization of products and services becomes colossal.


If we take the example of cosmetics, it is the addition of data on your skin, your sleep, the quality of indoor air, the weather, the type of activity you will carry out during the day , etc which will give companies in the sector the possibility of being able to concoct for you the elixir of youth on a daily basis which will guarantee you eternal youth and beauty.


More and more intimate data


Let's not talk about insurance which, to help you prevent risks related to your home, your mode of transport or your health, will hold in continuous flow, data on what we do, what we eat, how we Let's move... Example of this "always more" precision: the start-up Myndblue works to identify depressive risks from physiological data but also from the way we express ourselves on social networks.


So how do you build this trust with companies and brands that are going to seek out more and more intimate data about each and every one of us? And how to provide answers to the growing expectations and concerns of a growing number of Internet users about the security, use and value of their data.

The answer that seems to be taking shape is both technological but also, and fortunately as often, linked to governance and the posture of individuals, companies or States.


On the technology side, the disruption of current models will probably come from the “blockchain”. The latter allows any type of exchange (information, products, services, etc.) between people (peer to peer), in a decentralized and secure way and without a central control authority (therefore without an intermediary), in particular by using cryptocurrencies such as the bitcoin.




One of its main assets therefore lies in the proximity of exchange and the ability to get rid of a service provider who will capture and use your data, in particular to resell it to others without you knowing it and that you have given your consent.

The traceability of the system, which is based on a series of "chains" forming a gigantic database, but which can only be understood in a decentralized way and in pieces, thus guarantees the user total control of the data he communicates. while ensuring traceability of their actions, whether to sign a contract, make a purchase or vote in an election.


This is how we are beginning to see a whole series of new economic players using this technology and who are “uberizing the uberizers”: Twister, a microblogging platform competing with Twitter but allowing decentralized exchanges (peer-to-peer) therefore free from all control; Openbazaar, which reinvents Le Bon Coin again in peer-to-peer mode and with payments in bitcoins, or Zooz, which frees itself from a platform like Blablacar to offer carpooling without intermediaries.

But as always, technology remains a tool at the service of individuals, companies or institutions that can direct it in one way or another.


"Bitnation", virtual nation


At a time when all the big names on the web are developing virtual assistants like Siri for Apple or Google's latest Home, a new avatar that will exponentially multiply the number of our personal data held by these groups, others – like Snips – are offering a comparable service partly based on the blockchain and above all designed according to the principle of “privacy by design”. In other words, a guarantee that all of your data remains on your computer or smartphone and that you decide what you want to give and to whom.


More broadly, this collaborative approach to the economy associated with these new technologies makes it possible to rethink organizational methods and behaviors, particularly in the redistribution of value. Even if they remain marginal and still immature, several initiatives are beginning to outline a possible future for our society.


This is the case with particularly inspiring experiences such as the platform cooperatives promoted by the Peer to Peer Foundation; Backfeed, an organization that builds a decentralized governance and management system using the blockchain and making it possible to assess the material and above all immaterial contributions of each person to a project; or, to go even further, the Gratipay site where each self-contributor assesses the value of their contribution, financially and extra-financially. All this leading to the experimentation of a virtual nation like that of the “Bitnation”.


Despite much trial and error and multiple questions that remain to be explored, entrepreneurs and makers around the world are designing, experimenting (even if it means making mistakes or launching imperfect projects), in short, not only inventing a new economy but above all a new society: collaborative, decentralized, fluid, open and above all fairer.

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