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Personal data is a valuable asset, however financial beneficiaries of such sensitive information are far removed from the users of the “free” services whose data is gathered.
The amount of data which is accumulated by the products, services and technologies of the modern age is astronomical. Similarly, the gargantuan number of people whose data is gathered as a whole has created an economy where the value of data is more quantitative than qualitative.
It is these applications; the ones which you use in your everyday life, that gather the largest (and most uniquely identifiable) information; or ‘metadata’ as it is more commonly called. The thing is, it is not only those search terms which companies are using to target your attention.
For example, Google has been known to use the search history of individual users and log the metadata within a set of metrics unique to each one, (based on a combination of personal IP addresses, router IP addresses (for locational identification) and information from Google+ accounts.
Subjective search results and data privacy in centralized data corporations
Companies like Google and Facebook are centralized on two levels. First within a global system of economics and law; and secondly within the company’s own ecosystem of products and assets.
These market leaders in data-driven services often feed the public information and personal data gathered by their products (without much regard for consent), into self-learning systems.
Such computers feature dynamic algorithms which have many applications, including the identification and future prediction of customer trends, the classification of individual qualities into quantitative identity groups for advertising sales, and the organization of search results according to unknown priorities.
The internal value systems which drive these algorithms are largely unknown to the public, and even the advertisers which use the data in order to inform their marketing decisions. Only through professional analysis and speculation can these dynamic prioritization systems be in any way understood or predicted.
The idea of privacy is clearly a one way street for these companies. They want the public at large be deprived of seeing behind the iron curtain as to what influences the company’s decisions financially and ethically.
A conflict of interest
In addition to personal privacy issues, there is a dilemma which emerges between the interests of corporate culture, those of the services’ users and the businesses which seek to advertise. Users seek the best possible service available (for example, objective search results), without having to sacrifice the privacy of their data.
Earlier in February this year, Google received a fine from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for abusing its monopolistic and oligarchical level of power in order to provide biased search results which, according to the CCI: “[causes] harm to both its competitors and Google users.”
This follows an incident in June 2017 where Google was fined $2.7 billion USD by the European Commission for unfairly “promoting its own shopping comparison service at the top of search results” and therefore depriving its paying advertisers or organic results from obtaining the top spot.
Furthermore, recent political developments such as the controversial aftermath of the James DaMore memo demonstrate the threat of corporate political bias to the authenticity of search results and that the unethical appropriation of personal data is real.
The decentralized Blockchain based search engine
Bitclave is a search engine (“Active Search Ecosystem”) which takes advantage of decentralized Blockchain technology in order to support anonymous web searching with full privacy for users, whilst acting as an independent platform. This means that the team behind it are not interested in skewing the results of your searches.
The organization operates a token based economy (CAT) whose primary purpose is to fund direct business-to-customer advertising and private data inquiries. Search engine users are given full control over their privacy, with the option to share as much or as little information with select partners as they would like in return for a financial incentive.
For advertisers, the benefit is a reduced cost in advertising expenses due to the fact that the ownership of private data is held by the user. As such, they are the dictators of its value rather than arbitrary gatekeepers (such as those found in existing services) with a set fee going towards the platform operators to cover service costs rather than a scaling price
Their proprietary CAT token is listed on notable market caps, including the reputable CoinMarketCap.Follow us on Telegram.
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