Datum, using blockchain technology, will allow users to securely store and share personal information. Given how lucrative data has become to companies, Datum will allow users to sell their information for profit to companies. This is a potential sea-change from the common practice today of personal data being sold without consent or awareness.
The Datum network will run on top of the Ethereum protocol, given its ability to run “smart contracts” and its growing base of users. Ethereum is a second-generation blockchain with unique features absent with bitcoin, and the protocol is continually being upgraded to meet the needs of its users. The Datum token, DAT, which can be used to store or buy personal data on the network, is thus ERC20 compliant, allowing it to be stored in standard Ethereum wallets. The storing of user data, the exchange of data between buyers and sellers based on predetermined criteria, and the deposit of DAT into the accounts of those who sell their data will be enabled by smart contracts.
Users of the network will be able to set their own terms for sharing or selling their personal data. The Datum client, available on mobile devices and desktops, will allow users to set their preferences and see who has accessed their data, and view how many DAT are in their account. Datum aims to emphasize ease of use and access with very strong security, since building the trust of users will be essential to the project’s long-term success. By empowering users with their own data, Datum may bring about a shift in consciousness regarding the safeguarding and control of private information.
According to Datum, the value of personal information gathered from each user on social media or web services platforms such as Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin can exceed $2,000 annually. This data is very valuable since it allows marketers to selectively target individuals with offers for goods or services they are most likely to buy based on their profile. Allowing users to sell their own data is potentially very profitable for users of the network.
The Datum initial coin offering (ICO), intended to raise funds for developing, maintaining, and promoting the platform, ended November 29, 2017. Investors who purchased DAT tokens through the ICO will be eligible for discounts on their price to incentivize their contributions. In total, Datum will issue no more than three billion DAT tokens, thus making it a potential store of value for investors.