At this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi insightfully commented, “Today, data is a real wealth and it is being said that whoever acquires and controls the data will have hegemony in the future. The global flow of data is creating big opportunities.” Governments and businesses alike are increasingly dependent on data to help inform their operational and decisional processes. As a result, companies like Microsoft, Oracle, and Google are seeing an increased demand for their services. While firms like these should be lauded for how they’ve advanced the industry, crucial problems still exist, even despite their best efforts to solve them.
Data management is overwhelmingly controlled by centralized authorities, which results in a lack of transparency and high costs. Most startling is the harsh reality that big data housed by centralized parties isn’t safe. Take for example Equifax, Facebook, and the US Securities and Exchange Commission. These organizations are but a very small sample of entities whose big data has been compromised, exposing hundreds of millions of people to unnecessary and preventable risks.
Thankfully, companies are thinking critically about data in an attempt to use it responsibly. One blockchain startup, Fysical, is creating a decentralized platform for a transparent, efficient, and secure exchange of location data. Location data, a subset of big data, tracks human movements and is used by a plethora of parties to study human behavior and generate informed predictions. The Fysical platform will be built on a blockchain infrastructure, allowing it to provide the cost-effective transparency and security the location data industry desperately needs. In addition, the network will monetarily incentivize good behavior, which will provide data analytics firms with the purest location data possible.
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