In its 2018 Consumer Intelligence Series report, entitled “Protect.me,” PwC found that consumers are deeply concerned about their personal data and the lack of control they feel about who sees and uses it. Only 25% of consumers think that companies are responsible with their personal data, and only 10% feel that they have control over their own personal data.
When it comes to control over personal data, the same report says consumers want more:
- 92% want to control the information about themselves on the internet.
- 87% want to be able to remove personal data from the internet if it adversely impacts their reputation.
- 88% say what they share with companies is dependent on how much they trust the company in question.
Despite these concerns, most consumers still want to participate in the digital environment. They’re willing to share their data when and where it provides a benefit to them, as long as the recipient can securely store that information.
Today, consumers have more tools and platforms to help them take back control of their personal data, including these five solutions:
Personal Hybrid Cloud
Let’s start with our own solution that helps you control all of your digital content, including photos, videos, music, and documents. Amber is a personal hybrid cloud. It utilizes a device that you can set up in your home, one that looks very much like those voice-assisted virtual assistants that have become so popular. However, rather than storing your data on a cloud somewhere else, your data lives on Amber, which you completely control.
Amber uses our proprietary cloud service known as LatticeNest, which includes powerful security and privacy tools like User Identity Management and Data Routing Verification to ensure you retain control over your personal data. Only you decide who gets to see your digital assets.
Blockchain for Identity Verification
Another increasingly adopted strategy to gain control over personal data is identity verification. It works by limiting who accesses your data based on tools that verify the identity of the person. Now, companies are incorporating blockchain technology, the distributed ledger technology behind cryptocurrency, in order to provide a stronger identity verification system.
For example, new company TheKey continues to refine its blockchain-based system, which has already improved the process of payment verification. According to the company:
Blockchain uses an asymmetric cryptographic algorithm, ensuring the data transmission and the safety in utilization, which is characterized by several features e.g. immutability, irreversibility, security etc. In particular, smart contracts are realized by programmable scripts, increasing the practicability of Blockchain. With those features, the application dilemma of identity verification technology is overcome.
In a nutshell, hackers can’t break in and alter the security methods in place, so your personal, financial and health data remains in your control. Moreover, companies that employ this type of blockchain technology can also help win back consumer trust and prove they are capable of handling it securely.
Social Post Security
Social media definitely has its advantages, and it’s great to share digital assets with your friends on these platforms. Yet, social media also presents some real concerns about who gets access to this personal data.
One solution is Social Safe, an app that you can authorize to tap into your social media accounts. That includes not only all major social media sites, but also blog services and Facebook pages, as well as your personal Facebook profile.
You can download the data from your social media accounts and always retain that information, even if you decide not to continue using the tool. After downloading them from your social media profiles, you can then export your pictures and other content to other sites and servers.
Also, SocialSafe offers a number of tools that help you understand your online social activity and behavior. It organizes that data in a journal format for easy access and viewing.
Bill and Payment Centralization
Maintaining control over sensitive and personal financial data is often one of the biggest concerns consumers have, and for good reason.
That’s where tools like FileThis come in handy. FileThis downloads all of your online financial statements and saves them in a place you designate and control, such as a cloud storage service or a device like Amber.
FileThis can manage all types of financial information, including statements from bank and brokerage accounts, credit unions, mortgage accounts, car loan servicers, credit cards, bills, accounting software, tax documents, and online shopping accounts. Using a tool such as FileThis to manage your sensitive financial data give you greater control over it, while still keeping that data always within reach.
Browser History Protection
Another area of privacy protection that many consumers are concerned with is browser history. Many sites and companies track browser history, although most consumers aren’t entirely comfortable with this information being disclosed.
Fortunately, many new tools are available to help protect your browser history data from third parties. One such new tool is the Meeco Browser, which allows you to decide who should receive your updated contact information.
Additionally, you can use Meeco to give permission to certain trusted people to access personal data about you. It also provides you with a record of consent so you can check, edit, and update that permission list at any time.