Digital Identity, safeguarding our personal data in the Metaverse
Metaverse, that strange word that is being sold to us in any media and that is presented as the future of technology, business, economy, education, social relations... it seems that everything fits in this alternative reality that is to come, but there are still a series of questions; how is it going to be possible? what are the barriers that have to be overcome for the metaverse to become a reality and mass adoption of this technology? what will happen to our Metaverse data? are they in danger of becoming a means of marketing?
We are going to try to thresh some of the key technologies that are going to be in some way the enablers of this new reality that is so promising for the future of the information society and the future of the internet. We will also talk about the crucial role that digital identity based on Blockchain will play in guaranteeing the fundamental rights of the users of the metaverse.
Introduction to the Metaverse
First of all, let's talk about the base, the digital frontier of the Metaverse, how do we cross it, what technology makes it possible? Well this is where it all starts and where probably the most money is currently being invested. The design of the hardware that allows us to experience the metaverse is key. Work is being done on virtual reality viewers, haptic gloves and wearables, which are able to detect our facial expressions, reactions, emotions, heart rate... the aim is to be able to store much more relevant and higher quality data than what the current hardware of our smartphone, tablet or PC has been able to do so far.
For sure you are already thinking that these devices are the new sources for generating immense data-lakes with tastes, feelings and other data that will allow us to create a much more accurate and attractive user profile for marketing and service companies, with much more information about us that will allow them to generate new business models based on the value of the data and where it comes from.
It's a bit scary, isn't it? This is where we find the first problem, user data will be extremely sensitive, how are we going to protect our privacy? What technologies can help us to avoid the same thing happening as happened with Facebook? The truth is that it is paradoxical that the company that has made the biggest mistakes with its users' data is the spearhead in the creation of these hardware devices. Meta, together with Microsoft, is leading the way in the development and investment in this technology, currently leading the market with its Meta Quest 2.
But let's not be alarmed, the situation is not the same as it was in 2015, both the regulation of data ownership and the technology itself have evolved a lot over the last 7 years and in technology companies we are aware of the current value for consumers of protecting their data and their privacy. In this regard, it should be noted that both users and companies have learned our lesson and are aware that the use of free third-party applications always involves paying a price with the information we give to these applications.
Digital identity, the key to user sovereignty in the Metaverse
At Izertis we have been working for several years with a technology that will undoubtedly be one of the protagonists in the future and consolidation of the metaverse: self-sovereign digital identity based on Blockchain. And you may ask, but what does Blockchain have to do with all this? Well, it actually has a lot to say, not only in this aspect but in many others that we will talk about later, but for us this is one of the most relevant since, as we have seen, data privacy, sovereignty, security and protection will be vital in the metaverse.
Self-sovereign digital identity on Blockchain will allow us to interact with the metaverse, being aware at all times of what data and with whom we are sharing it
Self-sovereign digital identity on Blockchain will allow us to interact with the metaverse, being aware at all times of what data and with whom we are sharing it, being able to decide what information, where and with whom to share it. Thanks to this, we will be able to identify ourselves with guarantees in the different metaverses, without having to share the same information over and over again. Furthermore, we will be able to know at all times, within any metaverse, what we are offering to the companies that provide us with their services. This guarantees the privacy and security of users.
For example, let's imagine we are in a metaverse in which there is a virtual travel agency, where we are attended by an AI and, based on our tastes and accumulated user experience, they offer us the trip of our dreams. How will this company be able to do this? How will it be able to offer us its services? To do so, it will need access to a certain "dataset" of data on emotions, tastes, interactions, searches, purchases, etc., so that its AI engine can understand what our dream trip could be. During this process, it will ask us for access to our most valuable data and we will decide what to share, and most importantly for how long, being able to revoke access to our data at any time and under any circumstances.
This is where the importance of this technology lies, with it we are turning the paradigm of big data and data mining on its head, as today's business models are only viable if there is an environment in which the user feels safe and protected, and above all has sovereignty over their personal data. The user must be aware at all times of what and how their data is used because otherwise we will be making the same mistake we made in the past, generating business models where, yes, the user is at the centre of the strategy, but not to provide value, it is at the centre to steal their data and profit from it without respecting them.
This is why we at Izertis want to highlight all the efforts we have been making in the implementation of self-sovereign digital identity based on blockchain in order to promote the development of the information society and now more than ever the creation of secure metaverses where the user really has control of their data and can enjoy these environments without any risk to their privacy and security. Shall we talk?