Consumer-controlled data sales - at scale.

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By: Kelly Shermach |

Posted on April 11, 2018

We reported earlier on's app. Data trade innovators didn't need the Cambridge Analytica scandal to motivate their business models. But it could help attract non-techie consumers.

By Kelly Shermach

SRAX's Blockchain Identification Graph (BIG) decentralizes data sales. Real-time, location-based marketing now owned by digital giants moves to the people via blockchain technology.

And datavest and have partnered on a blockchain-based digital currency, Datanotes. Consumers will aggregate and securely share data in "data funds" that marketers subscribe to. Contributors, then, participate in the economic value of their data, totaling hundreds or thousands of dollars per person each year, according to Rob Stone, founder and CEO of datavest.

'Data and Audience Is The Future'

"Data from lots of sources and methods creates challenges in accuracy," says Kristoffer Nelson, SRAX COO. And though SRAX builds audience verticals for more reliable targeting, it has never achieved 100% precision. Add hacks and breaches, and consumers demand to know where data is held and how it's used, increasing the challenge.

"We give access to the audience without compromising security," Nelson says. Transparent data exchange will allow consumers to verify their data, see where it's going and what it's doing. In fact, when a consumer signs up for the exchange, BIG integrates third-party data on the consumer, from social media platform to loyalty programs.

The app also will generate new data through surveys, images of purchase receipts and check-ins at retail locations. While these collection mechanisms exist on other platforms, BIG shows consumers the data collected, how it's packaged, who's using it and what they're paying for it.

'If Cambridge Analytica Had Been a BIG Customer...'

"If we had the app, and people did surveys and we collected audience data, the use case would have been logged," Nelson says.  Scandal was averted by upfront transparency with contributing consumers.

"It's too early to say how Cambridge Analytics will change things, if at all," says Steven Georgeou, president of the New York City-based Geocom Inc. "I don't think we've reached the tipping point."

But this week Facebook informed the 87 million users affected by Cambridge Analytics. Nelson acknowledges that consumer awareness could build interest in BIG. "There is roaming dissatisfaction, and it grows every month," he says. "People are concerned and even angered about companies they trust and ultimately have no insight to."

Looking at Data in a Different Way

BIG will give marketers, third parties, data management and demand-side platforms a variety of access and purchase options. All will respect consumer-oriented goals and transparency. Eventually developers will build apps on the BIG platform with transparency from the start.

"A big part of SRAX business is data sales," says Nelson. The BIG consumer-first vision pairs wired consumers and businesses in transactions that pay providers in BIGtokens, an digital currency.

"A direct currency exchange for data is interesting, but I don’t think it will catch on in a significant way," says Jesse Wolfersberger, senior director of decision sciences at Maritz Motivation Solutions, Fenton, Mo. "On an aggregate level, we all know customer data is extremely valuable. However, on an individual level, any single consumer’s data is worth far less."

The Alternative

"Instead of a few bucks a month, customers would rather trade their data for better experiences," he says. Loyalty programs have moved in this direction, recognizing consumers when they walk in, calling them by name and offering a frictionless experience tailored to their history and preferences. To Wolfersberger, that is worth more than the cash value.

Kelly Shermach is a Contributing Editor at The Wise Marketer.