What is decentralization? I say decentralization is the future, and after reading this post, I am sure you will agree. Imagine a world where people have all the right to manage their will, free to say anything that they wish, a world where a central entity can’t control your behavior or set norms that are unfair and most often monopolistic. So to simply take away the power of central institutions and give that power back to the people who hold a stake in that institution can be termed decentralization. Wait but the internet is already decentralized, right? cause we have the right to express our views on many social media and how is that different from the decentralized media?. That is exactly what those multibillion-dollar companies want you to believe and trust me that is not true at all.
Some organisations, like the US-based Data Dividend Project (DDP), are fighting to take back ownership of your data. It plans to give consumers a set of rights that allows them to know what data on them is collected and the right to opt out of the sale or sharing of that data, among other initiatives. It also plans to hold corporations accountable for the violation of data rights.
Since it is impossible to not be bombarded by ads that are too personal, and enforceable legislation may not materialise soon enough, here are several steps you can take to regain some degree of control.
- Assess your browser
- A different search engine
- A different email provider
- Assess your settings on personal devices and online profiles
- Live a life with no social media
By switching to one of these privacy-focused browsers, you can fight back against Big Tech data harvesting by blocking ads and trackers. Not only does this protect your privacy but it often gives you a much faster and smoother user experience.
Check out the list of private web browsers below and be sure to encourage others to use them too.
- Tor Browser
- Pale Moon
- Beaker Browser
Brave focuses on three aspects of FLoC that it believes make the Web head in the wrong direction:
- Sites are informed about browsing habits, even if users never visited them — this is a very strong argument, considering that sites did not know anything about a user if that user never visited the site; this is especially true for users who disable third-party cookies in their browsers, and use other protective means. For the average user, FLoC will still reveal more about their interests than before.
- FLoC adds a strong identifier for fingerprinting — FLoC’s cohorts are made up of thousands of users, but that is a tiny group when it comes to fingerprinting. Coupled with other fingerprinting techniques, it could pave the way for improving fingerprinting accuracy.
- Google should not be the one determining what is sensitive and what is not — Google wants to exclude sensitive categories, such as race, religion, sexual orientation, and others from being used by FLoC, to avoid creating cohorts made up of these groups. To exclude these, Google somehow needs to know about these, as it would not be able to make the determination otherwise.
The notion of an “open web” is one that is defined by and for all of its users — not by governments or institutions, nor by private companies and select individuals. While the novel services that we rely on today have played a significant role in boosting digitalization and interconnectedness, they’ve also benefited an exclusive few. Today’s existing data sharing systems for the purposes of consumer targeting are ultimately determined by closed, centralized ecosystems — each offering limited visibility and inefficiencies due to the pipeline of intermediaries involved. With advertising largely funding the many platforms, services, and infrastructures that we rely on today, what’s needed is a neutral, decentralized infrastructure that can ensure the same levels of personalization and compliance that we see in a “walled” environment.
Today much of our data is exploited and thus privacy as well because many companies (Big Tech being the biggest offenders) collect our cookies or our browsing data and have invasive tracking to serve us personalized or targeted ads and to sell user data to third parties.
Recent regulations like CCPA (California Consumer Protection Act) and policy changes by Big Tech are improvements but the open web is still largely fueled by surveillance capitalism.
The emergence of technologies such as distributed ledgers and storage on blockchain paves the way for data decentralization and might create a more transparent and secure environment, overtaking Web 2.0’s centralization, surveillance, and exploitative advertising. In time, decentralized infrastructure and application platforms should displace centralized tech giants and allow individuals to own their data rightfully.
By now, we are all aware of the impact advertisements have on businesses, consumers and the internet as a whole. Companies like Facebook and Google are in the business of data. Specifically, they are known for using your data to show you personalized ads from companies, marketers and developers.
From there, you receive pop-up ads, emails, suggestions and promoted trends — and the list goes on. Until recently, there was not much in the way of disruption. Large entities had a stronghold on this business until blockchain came along.
Yes, the same blockchain that helped build Bitcoin is the blockchain that I believe will disrupt the current marketing and advertising structure, which could benefit the consumer and new organizations looking to compete against the big guys.
Privacy web browser, which rewards its 25 million+ users with its Basic Attention Token (BAT), is building new functionality into its platform.
According to its BAT Roadmap 2.0, announced today, Brave is creating a decentralized exchange (DEX) aggregator as well as a new “Brave Wallet” to replace its current crypto wallets.
The additions will extend the firm’s reach beyond web browsing and into decentralized finance (), the multibillion dollar industry of crypto-based protocols that allow people to earn interest, lend assets, and trade tokens without going through a financial institution.