In conversation with Roger Haenni: Founder and CEO of the Datum Project
Facebook and Cambridge Analytica’s data scandal shook the world when it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica got access to 80 Million people’s profile from Facebook. Using this Data, Cambridge Analytica created highly targeted ads of Donald Trump to people. One project is working on making sure something like this does not happen in the future. That project is called Datum, a large scale DB on Blockchain, in which users have complete information of their profile. We at Blockmanity had a chance to catch up with Roger Haenni, the founder and CEO of Datum Project.
Blockmanity: Hi Roger, good to have you here with us. Before we begin, tell us, why according to you is protecting user’s data important.
Roger: Thank you. You see Privacy is a right of every individual. Just like you wouldn’t want your friend going through your personal data like that big companies do not have any right to your personal data. You and only you have the right towards your data. And that’s why protecting your data is very important.
Blockmanity: Fair enough, and how is Datum going to protect user’s privacy?
Roger: Datum is global database implemented on the Blockchain. App developers can use the public database by Datum to store their information. Every user has complete transparency of their data. That is, what all information is there, who is accessing it and who is requesting. Users have complete control of their data. Users can remove information, deny apps from certain data and even monetize that information.
Blockmanity: Why will App developers shift to Datum’s DB when there is an already existing solution?
Roger: People have stopped trusting big companies due to the data they collect, the analysis they do and sharing they do with the data. Datum provides a solution here, due to data transparency. Secondly, if it’s a DApp it makes sense to use a decentralized database. Third, we believe that future regulations will support decentralized databases more than the centralized ones.
Blockmanity: Sounds interesting, and how will Datum ensure that the data isn’t being manipulated?
Roger: Datum has a reputation system inbuilt which checks for data manipulation. Datum does not collect any data on their own, but rather App developers collect and store it on the Datum’s DB. This ensures that the app only collects the data that is needed, and the data isn’t manipulated.
Blockmanity: Apart from just being decentralized what all are the benefits for the users?
Roger: The major benefit for the user is the complete data transparency. A user has access to where their data is being moved, who is accessing their data and for what purposes. Secondly, users can monetize their data through the Datum. For example, a research company needs a user’s personal data. A user can choose to sell this data for some fee. This way a user profits from their data rather than other companies profiting from them.
Blockmanity: Wow, sounds like a really great project. What step can the user take to protect their data in today’s world?
Blockmanity: Thank you for the practical advice. One last question and we would wrap things up. How do imagine the future with Datum?
Roger: In the future, I imagine people will be more data-aware than they are today. They would want more control on their data. In the future, people would also be able to monetize their data. I imagine, people, making around $2,000 every year just by selling their data to research institutes. Moreover, apps in the future wouldn’t have to build the entire DB of a person from scratch. They would just have to access the public DB and get the information already present.
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