GDPR & Web 0.3

The Role of GDPR in Web3

Hotwire Global

Around 81% of Americans express concerns regarding companies collecting private data. As our lives become increasingly digitised, it’s no surprise that consumers are apprehensive about how their data is stored and used. As we prepare for the growth of Web 3.0 and the implications this will have on our lives, what can we expect consumer data privacy to look like in 2023? 

We sat down with our Executive Vice President of Technology and Innovation, Kevin Dulaney to gather his expert opinion on how online privacy might change under Web 3.0, how the tech giants might adapt to handling consumer data, and the role of GDPR.  

In your own words, how crucial is GDPR to the success of Web 3.0? 

Kevin: GDPR has helped the new data regulations that are coming around the world, whether that’s GDPR, GDPR UK1, whether that’s the CCPA, Australian Privacy Act, the Brazilian (LGPD); all of the different data protection acts that are out there. I believe the biggest impact is bringing awareness to the end user that they’re sharing their data in ways that can be used for everything from marketing to malicious intent.  

As we get into these new technologies, everyone will want to jump on the hype wagon. Everyone is jumping onto the ChatGPTs of the world without realizing they’re giving out information, because no one is being held accountable. Many of these tools are missing a privacy policy or not following data protection best practices, so you’re trusting the developer to handle your data in an ethical way. At least when you’re sharing with a larger company, they’re held to certain ethical and regulatory guidelines that are going to protect your data.  

While these technologies that are coming out are fun and exciting, but we have to be careful about how we’re using them.  

What are the biggest online privacy challenges as we enter 2023? 

Kevin: People want to be connected and desire community. We want to share everything about our lives from family vacations, pictures of children and what their eating for breakfast. This intention fueling them to share their data so freely on platforms swamped with malicious characters looking for ways to leverage it.  

Also, with more generative AI coming out, we’re talking the challenge of “passwordless” and biometric authentication. In all, the challenge for security and data privacy professionals is rushing to catch up in protecting individual users who appear to be a threat to themselves.  

How do you think tech giants will adapt to Web 3.0 now that privacy and data ownership is being put back in the hands of the consumer? 

Kevin: I think that big tech companies are going to lean more into Web 3.0. So if you look at , they completely changed their name to be Web 3.0 focused – they’ve doubled and tripled down. Most tech companies are increasing hiring for Web 3.0 developers. There is still a gap. There’s this old saying on how it takes years to build reputation and only seconds to lose it. And I think that these companies are going to have to really focus on gaining that trust back with the consumer.  

So how can brands gain consumer trust in the age of Web 3.0?  

Kevin: By being more transparent about how they’re using data and allow users to find the mechanisms to control it. Consumers are not as trusting of big tech companies, how they’re treating their data and how they’re using their data. So Its about sharing the X, Y, and Z on how they will be protecting individual data.  

Do you think that Web 3.0 poses a threat to some of the more emerging paid activations like influencer marketing, where entities are able to establish their own communities and extract their own respective data? Or do you see that evolving? 

Kevin: I think it’s going to evolve. I can think of five or six musicians right now who have created a metaverse for themselves, a space for their fans to come in and get the real time access and info to them. Now, you may actually get direct contact with that creator. I think influencers are going to actually play a bigger part, because we’re not going be able to just spray and pray to massive amounts of people now that we have the data to. 

That word of mouth, that human interaction, that human opinion about a product or service, is going to go a lot further than just a click through. 

Do you think there’s going to be a dip, in terms of the data gathered before we switch to Web 3.0, because users will have more control? 

Kevin:  I do. The first party and the third party data that we currently have is 80-90% accurate. I think that we’ll continue to use that and there may be a small divot in the amount of engagement we have between products and services and marketing, but I don’t think it’s going to be anything that anyone’s going to notice immediately or feel any hurt from.