Data ownership and data privacy have become quite the topic of discussion over the last couple of years as social media, search engines and eCommerce sites all continue to collect vast amounts of data points on all of us using these paid and free services.
The data-driven economy has seen a boom with services like Facebook, LinkedIn and Google all hoarding vast amounts of data and collating them into advertising profiles they can either sell off to advertisers or use to manipulate certain user behaviour way beyond simple personalisation.
Data is more valuable than gold or oil
The data-driven business model has become wildly profitable with data being one of the most valuable commodities of late and why these companies I've mentioned earlier are pushing for a worldwide oligopoly on traffic.
The longer they can keep you on their services the more data touchpoints it can mine, the better its significant data sources become, the faster its AI's can refine this data into actionable points for profit gain and even nefarious purposes such as the spread of propaganda as we saw with the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Internet 2.0 is due for an upgrade
Data harvesting has shown us the real problem with the centralised internet and why web 2.0 has outgrown its purpose use to the general public.
However, at this point in time, there is very little we can do to reduce our data footprint or control the flow of our data when using various online services.
Blockchain aims to give us control over our money via cryptocurrency like Bitcoin.
So it would make sense that we could use blockchain to control our data, which has become so valuable to companies in the age of social media.
One such project seems to be looking at the issue and attempting to create a solution, in Dock.io.
Image source: blokt.com
What is Dock.io?
Dock.io wants to give users more control over their data and the ability to monetise it through its native currency Dock.
The premise of Dock.io is to house your social media information on an encrypted blockchain and should companies want access to your information they can do so at a cost.
You are paid for access to your information and have control over what data you're willing to share with various companies.
What is Dock.io trying to fix?
The Dock.io platform or white paper, speak to some unusual use cases or instead of features it can bring to give users better control over their online experience, namely:
The ability to verify inaccurate information
The internet is filled with false claims and inaccurate information which is nearly impossible to track and verify in existing systems, however, using an immutable ledger we can see where data comes from, how it was generated and the validity of the data.
Centralized databases create gatekeepers who choose what, where and when, creating friction, slowing down processes and increasing operational costs.
Lack of compatibility
The vast majority of data online does not adhere to common standards or schemas, making data incompatible with other systems.
Different sites collect data in different ways, and others aren't as forthcoming as they should be. Having a decentralised system, they need to tap into will push for a sort of internet standard for data capture.
No control for users
As I mentioned earlier to use services, you are forced to give up access to your data. Internet users are at the mercy of for-profit corporations with sensitive personal information that often gets exploited and abused.
Now that you have an idea of how the project works, let's dive into the general use of the current program you can access today.
Dock has now split its offering into Dock, which is the protocal and the consumer-facing app known as "Verifiable".
I think this is pretty confusing to the user and it's not adequately explained, but it does make sense to split the actual underlying system which investors would be interested in and a dApp running on it.
Now once you create a "Verifiable" account, there is not much to see, you can create an account like any other site. It doesn't give you access to any keys, so you don't own your wallet, which is concerning for me.
A wallet that I don't have access to with private keys is not my wallet, to begin with, and is just an opening for potential abuse.
You will then be able to upload information like degrees, certificates and courses you've done by typing in the details manually or uploading a certificate.
How the Verifiable wallet works
Other than that, there is not much functionality to this so-called wallet, and I was wildly disappointed in what I used when compared to what was read in the whitepaper.
Perhaps I misunderstood what this application is supposed to, and if so, the instructions are almost non-existent, and I'd probably need to find some documentation to use the app which doesn't inspire confidence.
A consumer-facing application is meant to be helpful and intuitive, not tricky and tedious.
I honestly see absolutely no use for this application in its current state and rate it a 0 out of 10. This project really shows the state we're in when it comes to dapps, all talk and nothing that actually does anything of real value.
Such a promising concept as always yet such a complete waste of time, this isn't even fit to be called a beta, it should not even be realised to the public.
More on Dock.io
If you found this review interesting and would like to know more about what Dock.io is up to, how they are progressing or what the token is worth, then check out the following resources.