Web3 - Reclaiming Identity Autonomy
Profits over Rights to Privacy
Even more profitable than oil is your personal data and identity. Not surprisingly, Saudi Arabia is throwing $1 trillion into building a megacity tech hub as part of it's "Vision 2030". Nor should it come as a surprise that criticising this “Vision” on Twitter resulted in a 30-year prison sentence for Fatima al-Shawarbi. Yet many giant tech companies are eager to invest, ignoring organisations like Human Rights Watch (HRW) which are raising serious concerns about potentially deadly privacy rights abuses.
According to HRW’s Arvind Ganesan, “Saudi authorities have grievously violated their own citizens’ right to privacy by hacking phones, infiltrating major tech companies, and passing laws granting sweeping surveillance powers to government entities.” Clearly valuing profits over human rights, Google and Microsoft plan to develop cloud data facilities under this repressive regime. "A Google cloud centre under Saudi's jurisdiction would basically serve our sensitive data on a silver platter to Saudi's top hitmen," explains Rewan Al-Haddad, campaign director for the SumOfUs shareholder group.
Identity at Risk
Both Google and Microsoft have refused to share how they will protect the data privacy of individuals. Maybe Google should be reminded of its motto “Do the right thing”. Or perhaps it’s time to stop entrusting big tech with personally identifying information and private data. Why trust any entity, whether big business or government, with deeply personal and valuable information?
You may not feel particularly threatened by Saudi Arabia, but unfortunately it’s not the only country to have committed horrendous human rights violations against its own citizens. Governments come and go, sometimes unpredictably. Do you believe big tech would protect your data and identity, should you suddenly find yourself under oppressive rule? Or would you regret handing over so many details about your life and identity?
Even if there are no concerns about oppressive governments, hackers can make your life rather miserable by hijacking personal information. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, $8 trillion will likely be lost to cybercrime in 2023. But it’s not just about money, it’s more personal. An estimated 1.4 billion social media accounts are hacked every month, with complete strangers intruding into private conversations and potentially exposing friends and family to harm. If you haven’t already been through this unpleasant experience, you undoubtedly know others who have.
As Web1 and Web2 shaped the digital landscape, they also normalised the sharing of personal information. From email addresses to social media profiles, your online presence has been dissected, monetised, and exploited. Social media platforms require an array of personal data, and users often unknowingly surrender their privacy, leaving them susceptible to identity theft, surveillance, and breaches.
But isn’t this just the world we live in? You have to hand over your data and identity to tech giants like Google and Microsoft because you need these services. By using password management systems and encryption, you try to reduce your risk of exposure a bit. Just hope for the best because there’s no alternative...only there is.
Web3 has emerged as a beacon of hope against this rather grim backdrop. This next phase of the internet revolution provides an alternative, ensuring that your online identity remains yours and yours alone. Built on the philosophy of data sovereignty, autonomy, and individual empowerment, Web3 is an opportunity for you to reclaim control over your digital identity.
Reclaiming Your Identity Autonomy
The term "Web3" refers to the third generation of the internet, focusing on decentralisation, user privacy, and ownership of data. Unlike traditional Web2 services that are controlled by centralised entities, Web3 leverages blockchain technology to create secure and transparent ecosystems. This infrastructure removes the middle man, so you’re not relying on big tech companies to be good stewards of your data.
Your identity is also more secure, preventing hackers from accessing valuable personal information and hijacking your identity. Instead of paying for password management systems to (hopefully) safely store numerous log-in credentials, Web3 uses Decentralised Identifiers (DIDs). DIDs ensure your identity remains within your control while also allowing you to log into various applications. Smart contracts are a form of Two-Factor Authentication, enabling identity verification from a decentralised blockchain list, both removing middle men and protecting against hackers.
At the same time, Web3 is more inclusive, since you’re not required to provide certain types of documentation or identifiers to access essential online tools. Web3 identity acts as an online address, connecting your data when/if/and for how long you approve, through encrypted signing. With Web3, you reclaim your identity autonomy.
Privacy over Profits
Companies and governments, driven by malicious intent, have been able to track individuals with alarming precision due to all the valuable data disclosed online. The repercussions of these unchecked intrusions are not merely theoretical – they manifest in real-world data leaks and compromised freedoms.
Driven by values of kindness, integrity, trustworthiness, and sustainability, MetaProvide envisions a digital realm where individuals regain control over their data and identities. We designed Platformly for organisations seeking a safer, more secure online presence.
In a world where personally identifying information is both valuable and vulnerable, Web3 and Platformly can help you reclaim your identity autonomy. As Web3 emerges, it's time to bid farewell to the days of surrendering personal data in exchange for digital access. Embrace the era of data sovereignty, where identity autonomy and integrity take precedence.
Take the first step towards a decentralised tomorrow with Platformly! Contact us today to learn more and get started on your journey into the exciting world of Web3.