Data Ownership, Digital Identities & Blockchain
- Posted by Jo-Anne Kelleway
- On October 25, 2017
- 0 Comments
- Big Data, Blockchain, Data, Info Salons
What has this got to do with the Exhibitions Industry?
There’s been quite a lot of talk recently regarding the future of Data Ownership in the Exhibitions Industry. As Paul Woodward stated in his recent article, “A battle royal is brewing in the events industry…(and) it involves data”. As more 3rd party tech startups enter our industry, they garner money from investors using the lure of the databases that they will stockpile from events.
For years, exhibition organisers worldwide have placed substantial value on these databases that they own. And attendees are now more apprehensive about where their data is being shared. So the 64 Million Dollar question is:
Who Owns The Data?
Like the proverbial elephant in the room, the exhibition industry is facing an obvious problem that no one seems to want to discuss, or want to challenge. My bet is that ownership is still the right of the individual. As my “digital identity” is becoming more prevalent in my everyday life, I want to ensure that my information is only provided to whom I want, when I want and how I want.
Potentially that is where “Blockchain” as a possible future management technology of digital identities comes into play.
Blockchain is a secure distributed ledger technology that was first created to track bitcoin ownership. It has taken on a number of new roles in recent years tracking anything of value and offering the promise of a trusted record that can reduce fraud. So as data becomes a more valued asset, potentially, it could be used to control identity information in a more secure fashion.
Recently with the Equifax hack, our personal information is highly vulnerable in online databases in their current form. If our identity were on the blockchain, it may give individuals more control over their own information, and with proper applications, allow them to present specific information to a party that needs it for identification, such as, a unique identifier to access an online registration page.
At Info Salons, we are researching ways to allow attendees to access their encrypted, blockchain data identities for ease of registration, ease of entry to an event and even for security measurements. Like any emerging technology, there has to be a long range vision for its viability. Using the blockchain as an identity management system will probably begin to take on some role over the next five years because the promise of security is remarkable. But how we as an industry take advantage of it will rely on solving some of the current outstanding issues of data ownership.