In 2013, Edward Snowden leaked a secret 41-slide PowerPoint representation that generated a global outrage. It exposed a Prism program initiated by the National Security Agency (NSA), which involved massive data collection from internet companies that dealt in email content and search histories.
The leak revealed that NSA has access to servers of major US providers like YouTube, Google, Skype, and Apple. It bolstered the demand for a decentralized web.
Fast forward to 2018, World Wide Web creator Tim Berners Lee and a group of 800 web developers met in San Francisco at the decentralized web summit to discuss how to break the monopoly of internet gatekeepers like Google and Facebook. Thus the concept of Web 3.0 was born.
Before we dive deep into the concept of Web 3.0 and how it will save the world from data theft, here’s a much more detailed account of how openly (sans any scruples) data theft is being carried out by some leading companies of the world.
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Rampant Violation in Data Privacy and Security
Most people share data without giving much thought to it. They provide it during a purchase or when signing up for email lists and downloading apps. Customers expect that the companies will safeguard their details.
But is that the case? No! Businesses often violate privacy laws. Here are more examples of it:
- Zoom gave data to third parties without the user’s knowledge.
- Google violated children’s privacy laws by unlawfully collecting biometric data from kids.
- The Maze hacker group targeted a texas law firm Baker Wotring and leaked the organization’s data. It contained legal documents of company clients.
- Facebook was fined for its role in Cambridge Analytica data harvesting.
- Ring Doorbell app was loaded with trackers.
- Data from top government officials was leaked due to a flaw in WhatsApp.
These are just a tip of the iceberg. As Edward Snowden once said:
The majority of people feel that they don’t have any control over their data.
Web 3.0 has the potential to change the world as we know it. But how? Let’s explore it in this blog.
Web 3.0 Explained
Web 3.0 is the next evolution of the internet where technologies like machine learning, big data, and decentralized ledger will play a pivotal role in processing information for websites and apps.
In web 3.0, data will be interconnected in a decentralized way, unlike what we have right now, where data is stored in centralized repositories. Users and machines can interact with data.
Decentralization, openness, and better user utility underlies the concept of Web 3.0. Here are some ways web 3.0 and blockchain can build a privacy-driven future for everyone and also break big tech company’s monopoly on data:
- Blockchain: A decentralized technology that allows no one to have complete control over its ecosystem. Instead, everyone collectively retains control. Blockchain is a database that stores records and ensures security and transparency algorithmically. There is no single governing entity here.
- Better incentives in the ecosystem: Blockchain ensures that everyone operates fairly and transparently. If someone commits a transgression, they can be punished based on the blockchain rules or collective voting.
- Users will know how their data is used: Blockchain allows users to decide when and how to share their data. They will also be alerted to how it is getting used.
- Users can revoke the data sharing at any time: If someone is not comfortable with how their data is getting used or is no longer interested in sharing it, they can revoke access to it.
- Less Hackable: Blockchain is almost impossible to hack due to many safeguards. Bitcoin has shown that blockchain is impossible to hack so far.
The Defining Features of Web 3.0
Here are some of the essential features of Web 3.0.
Decentralization: It’s the core principle of Web 3.0. The information found on the internet will be stored in multiple decentralized locations. It would break the monopoly of Internet giants like Meta and Google, and users will have full control over their data.
Trustless and Permissionless: Web 3.0 will be trustless, meaning the network will allow users to interact directly without depending on any intermediary. Its applications will run on blockchains or decentralized peer-to-peer networks. They won’t need any authorization from a governing body.
AI and Machine Learning: Computers will be able to understand information similar to humans in web 3.0 due to technologies based on Semantic Web Concepts and natural processing. Web 3.0 will utilize machine learning to imitate how humans learn and improve its accuracy. Computers will be able to generate faster and more relevant results.
The Possible Impact of Web 3.0
Here are some possible impacts when web 3.0 comes in full force. These are just predictions, so take it with a grain of salt.
- Societies may become efficient by eliminating industries, reducing dependence on third parties, and providing maximum value to the users and network suppliers.
- Companies can become more resilient to change through peer-to-peer communication and governance ties between participants.
- Data sharing can be done with better privacy & security control.
- Entrepreneurial & investment activities can be more foolproof by reducing the platform dependency risks that we see today.
- People will own their data & digital footprint through digital scarcity of data & tokenized digital assets.
- With mutual ownership and governance of these decentralized systems, network participants can collaborate to solve significant problems that plague today.
Web 3.0 will help establish a more equitable web by empowering the individual user to become the sole owner of their data. The internet will become more integrated with its arrival.
Transportation and appliances will become part of the IoT economy. We will be interacting with Web 3.0’s autonomous servers and DApps (decentralized applications). Blockchain will usher new digital realms and assets to empower various new technologies in the 21st century.