Data security is a natural candidate for – and a prime example of – an industry that is set for major disruption from blockchain technology.
It is no surprise then, particularly in this age of Snowden and the more recent example of the Cambridge Analytica / Facebook scandal, that the number of start-ups coming to market with a blockchain-inspired proposition for handling personal data has exploded.
What has helped to fuel that phenomenon further is the ICO capital-raising mechanism which means that personal data management platforms now take their place among green energy and intellectual property start-ups as one of the most common propositions to be found in blockchain territory.
YouGov Enters into Blockchain Data Management Arena
Blockchain-based data management platforms are becoming, then, almost ten-a-penny and include projects such as Datum, DataWallet, Databroker DAO, Shivom and Opiria amongst others.
Whilst all of these may have their own specific industry niche – genome data in the case of Shivom, IoT tech in the case of Databroker, human emotions (you read that right) in the case of Opiria – they share some fundamental characteristics: they exploit the blockchain’s inherent security, as well as its ability to make payments on the fly, in order to allow users (real or robotic) to shield their behaviour on a network from third-party scrutiny. Users can, of course, choose to expose their data instead and make money from doing so.
And it is into this highly competitive space that the project team at YouGov Direct have now entered, with a specific focus on digital advertising.
However, what makes this project one of the more unusual propositions is that it is an established, household brand – for UK citizens, at least – and includes over five million users on its books. YouGov is most commonly known as a political opinions tracker, but its existing operations also cover consumer market research and analytics.
Whether or not the group is also planning on expanding into blockchain survey territory – another highly competitive space – remains to be seen. “That would appear to be more natural territory for YouGov,” states Geraint Flint, blockchain market analyst. However, there is no indication from its management team if there as yet plans to that effect.
It is also unclear if the outfit will be proceeding with an ICO in order to finance its blockchain expansion. Its website refers to its new upcoming platform which is cited as due for release in 2019, but the project team appear to have provided no indication at this stage when or if it plans to ICO.