Throughout the last couple of years, the internet data market has grown exponentially, which prompted internet services and mobile applications to collect and track user data and behavior actively. The information is then packaged by data brokers, which quickly sell it to public or private companies. Despite the sheer size of the market—estimated at nearly $150 billion—the people, who represent the primary source of data, are left without any control over how their data is used, and no cut on the profit.
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Thankfully, the blockchain revolution has spurred the creation of numerous tools which can be used to grant users control over their data once again. Platforms such as such as Insights Network—a blockchain-based data exchange—allow anyone to regain ownership of their online data, and monetize it if so desired.
Insights Network represents one of the world’s first blockchain-based data-sharing solutions, combining smart contracts, blockchain technology, and multiparty computation to help individuals easily own, manage and sell their data.
Insights Network works through a combination of smart contracts, which facilitate the transfer of funds, ownership, data, and consent, all via the blockchain network. User data can be stored either on user devices or in a distributed web format, thus limiting possible data-theft accidents. Additionally, the solution is compatible with the EU’s upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and backed by secure multiparty computation—meaning Insights stores user data locally. Therefore users can choose to remove themselves from the network whenever they wish.
Today, the network serves two types of users: requesters and providers. The INSTAR token serves as the payment method of choice: requesters use INSTAR tokens to submit requests for data, and providers are compensated for their information via the token.
Insights Network has chosen to build their platform over the EOS blockchain, rather than the Ethereum network, as EOS provides superior solutions for scalability. Better said, the team can purchase EOS tokens, and use them for scaling the platform (via higher computing power and network bandwidth) with no negative effect to its customers or other EOS blockchain users.