What it Means to “Own” Your Online Credentials

Googling “What are online credentials?” is quite like taking a shot in the dark. Results may differ across the likes of “banking credentials”, or “one’s online username and password”.  While these are correct versions of online credentials, they do not cover all aspects. In a more expansive and elaborative sense, online credentials pertain to a user’s online behavioural patterns, looking at how they use an app, analysing different aspects such as how many hours they spend on certain features, which aspects of the app they use most, and so much more.

How can online credentials be used?

You can use your online credentials for many purposes including targeting advertising and improving user experiences with the web app. These data include demographics such as age, location and gender as well as patterns of behaviour (such as visits to different sites, interactions with them, etc). With such a massive range of data being collected from individuals –  corporations have access to a pool (or more so an ocean) of data, for the benefit of their business.

What Credentials are owned and how is it stored?

You would assume that personal information they post to Instagram is their intellectual property. In fact – this cannot be further from the truth.  The corporation now owns all information uploaded by a user once they sign up for a Web2 platform. The user agrees to these terms and conditions, which are often ignored by users because of the many pages, which give access to the corporation. This leaves little or no room for the corporation to decide who may use the information and how.

Meta, through this ownership, is able make billions using personal data. In 2021 this profit will be $117.92 Billion. Nearly 43% of that total revenue will come from North America. However, only 10% Meta users have their headquarters in North America.  Meta can reap the benefits or rewards of users sharing personal data. None. In return, users receive the ability to access apps like Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp.

Web2 users are not eligible for any benefits, such as online credentialing. Privacy is another problem. With millions of users’ private data being stored on one centralised system, there is an extremely high risk of data breaches. This proved to be true when  530 million Meta (Facebook) users were victims of one of the largest Web2 data breaches, where not only was their private data used by Cambridge Analytica without their consent – but it was also later leaked on another forum.

The World of Decentralization is Here

Web3 has been deemed the next generation of internet. It is known for its blockchain-based decentralised model. Web3 is a decentralised web that allows users to own their data and manage it online. This makes Meta and Google obsolete. In Web3, ownership covers the ownership of information, meaning that in future Web3 social media apps, content posted by users would each have a smart contract attached to it – granting true ownership to the content creator in question.

What does it mean that users actually “own” a part of the web? Web3 uses self-sovereign IDs (SSL) which allow identity management to be moved from a centralised silo (as in Web2), to a peer–to-peer system. This model makes use of decentralised and public-key cryptography as well as blockchain. As the point of contact has been moved to users, rather than corporations, the model empowers them to choose how their data is distributed via websites, applications, and other services on the internet.

There are endless rewards

Web3 does more than just offer the ability to transfer ownership of online credential data from corporations to individuals. GALXE is the most important Web3 credential network. It offers Web3 users many benefits beyond the transfer of ownership to their online credentials from companies to individuals. Through GALXE’s multiple Application Modules which include Credential Oracle Engine and Credential API, data curators now have the opportunity to be rewarded and monetise their credentials, thanks to the open and collaborative infrastructure provided by the data network. The ecosystem of GALXE can be easily accessed by all Web3 developers and projects, allowing them to leverage credential data –  ultimately helping them to build better products and communities for their users.

Is it time to regain your power?

Looking at the differences between Web2 and Web3 in terms of data ownership – it is clear that Web2 favours giant corporations, leaving individuals powerless in terms of how their data is used. Web3’s emergence is changing the rules of online credential use and giving users their rightful power back. Web3 users and developers can both benefit from the new web age with the support of networks like GALXE. Do you want to regain control of your Web3 online credentials and take back your power?


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