Tide is a non-profit foundation with a blockchain protocol which seeks to address costly GDPR compliance, compensation and data accuracy issues. Its objective is to stimulate a decentralised personal data economy. To enable this it has launched the Tide Protocol, an open-source, data marketplace which it hopes will transform personal data and privacy from a liability into a mutually profitable asset – for businesses, data seekers and consumers.
“Businesses, marketers and consumers have all lost faith in the current ‘data exhaust’ driven economy, which has been plagued by big data breaches, inaccurate information, and illegal selling and sharing of consumer data,” said Issac Elnekave, Co-Founder of Tide.
“Tide offers a win-win-win solution. Our technology is driving a new personal data economy by simultaneously addressing data ownership by consumers, revenue-generating and cost minimization for businesses, and reliability for organizations seeking data.”
Tide, relevant to both for consumers and businesses?
Tide enables consumers to have ownership and control of personal data. Using the Tide Protocol, businesses:
- encrypt consumer data
- hand consumers the only key
- thereby enable those consumers to control who, what and when data is shared.
For third-party data inquiries, Tide sends a consent request from directly within the businesses’ user interface to each consumer within a targeted demographic. Once a consumer grants access permission, Tide facilitates the sharing of specific data with third parties.
The key is that consumers receive a reward in exchange for access to specific authorised data. This monetary compensation stores in a user-friendly fiat-like wallet. Sitting behind this is the belief that each transaction:
- fosters trust between consumers and businesses
- cultivates a data marketplace.
In effect consumers drive the monetisation of their own data without friction. In contrast, businesses should see different advantages. The complexity and efforts associated with data privacy compliance (for example, GDPR, etc.) continues to rise. This already costs businesses billions.
In the current data economy, businesses need to expend significant resources having to protect consumer data. The damage incurred if personal data is hacked, stolen or sold without knowledge or consent can be major – which leaves both businesses (and consumers) exposed to the aftermath of data breaches. Furthermore, for SMBs and enterprises, the risks associated with non-compliance and data breaches can be equally devastating because of regulatory fines and litigation.
“While we all deserve a human right to privacy, we’re witnessing the disastrous results of data breaches and growing distrust amongst consumers; and it’s time to take a modernized approach,” added Yuval Hertzog, Tide Foundation Co-Founder.
“With (the) Tide Protocol, we’ve developed a solution using breakthrough technologies to completely rethink how businesses and third-parties engage with the data economy, prioritizing privacy, granting control to consumers, and incentivizing all parties to protect and share data in a way that not only aids compliance, but offers profitability for all parties involved.”
The Tide Protocol
The Tide Protocol uses:
- forked EOS nodes
- smart contracts
- additional proprietary decentralised layers to manage permissioned access to encrypted consumer data stored by businesses.
Tide uses its own proprietary encryption. Governed by permissions established on the blockchain means individual consumers own their data. They hold the key to decrypt it. Without consumer consent, personal information is inaccessible to anyone else, including marketers, recruiters or other organizations.
Businesses can integrate the Tide Protocol into existing data management systems. It involves encrypting user information. This makes that data inaccessible to anyone lacking the consumer permission described above.
With this approach the Tide Protocol wishes to address one of the data industry’s biggest problems. It offers an integrated system which allows businesses to:
- manage risks
- reduce costs associated with data compliance
- allow consumers to control, share and monetise their data
- provide those organisations seeking data with the most targeted and accurate information to optimise lead conversion.
For profitable data to work, companies looking for specific consumer data must have the mechanism to engage with those who hold the data – preferable in exchange for monetary compensation. Business and consenting consumers share that monetary value via Tide Settlement Tokens (or Tide T’s).
These Tide T’s aspire to establish a stable value equivalent to $1 USD. In turn, this facilitates easy transfers to fiat currency. In addition, the consumer’s wallet becomes part of a business’s user experience. Any interaction with the blockchain is seamless. There is no need for blockchain knowledge. Consumers earn money for their data.
Data seekers (marketers or any business seeking consumer data) benefit from Tide’s data marketplace by gaining access to accurate, targeted information. Data seekers have to obtain permission to use information directly from:
- the businesses which hold it
- the consumers who own their data.
The intended consequence is a consensual exchange which can benefits all parties. With such transparency data seekers:
- overcome current flaws in the digital media supply chain
- gain access to granular insights about ‘incentivised’ audiences
- improved conversion rates
- respect data privacy.
Enterprise Times: what does this mean
The Tide approach promises a secure and frictionless data marketplace, which they can integrate into new or existing data management systems. If executed as described, this helps to:
- manage compliance risks
- reduce regulatory compliance costs
- enable data encryption which, in turn, means businesses can protect consumer data.
Tide trumpets that its concept will:
- see businesses improve retention and acquisition
- derive more value from data inventories (via richer insights and new revenue streams)
- establish a personal data economy beneficial for every industry.
This is a bold claim. Conceptually it could hold water. Certainly the problems which the Tide Foundation wish to address exist and its emphasis on trust will be all important. What is not so clear is how Tide will convince sufficient initial consumers to sign up (and thereby establish a critical mass) as well accept token-style recompense which remain under a cloud.