In the beginning of June, 1997, Amazon stock traded for ~$1.50 per share. Over the last 20 years, the company’s valuation has risen over 1000x, with shares trading at nearly $2k. These kinds of gains underscore the massive growth of the e-commerce industry, which has exploded over the last two decades. This market is continuing to grow at a rapid pace, with the industry posting 18% gains globally in 2018, and web sales topping out at $2.86 trillion. But not everyone who purchases goods or services from an eCommerce platform is aware of the privacy risks.
Each time a purchase is made, these platforms require personal information from the customer — often including name, credit card information, and home addresses. Personal information being used and stored on the internet becomes an issue when data breaches are commonplace. According to Statista, data breach incidents have grown exponentially in recent years — with 157 reported incidents in 2005 to 1579 incidents in 2017.
To make matters worse, when tech giants aren’t losing your data, they’re giving it away — or worse, selling it. In 2018, The New York Times reportedthat Facebook had been sharing user data for years as part of its expansion efforts. Records indicate that Facebook shared user data from its 2.2 Billion users with other massive tech giants like Amazon, Yahoo, Microsoft, Netflix, Spotify and more without consent from their users.
It’s not just facebook collecting your personal data. The abuse of individual privacy is standard practice at big tech companies. An article published by Forbes in late 2018 titled “Social Media Companies Collect So Much Data They Can’t Remember All The Ways They Surveil Us.” The article states that these companies, “buy and sell our most intimate private data,” and, “we have no right to demand to know what the companies hold on us.” The author concludes that it’s naive to believe that stronger privacy laws and regulations will have any significant impact on the problem, with new legislation frequently leading to less privacy — not more. The only true way to avoid this breach of privacy is to protect your data yourself.
Why You Should Care About Your Privacy
If you were to go shopping in the 1980s, the only information that a shop would have about you would be limited to what the clerk could remember, and maybe the footage they could find on their security camera (if they had one). This data is pretty much harmless, and has very little context for anything else. In today’s world, Google knows your location, your search history, your name, what you’ve bought, other stores you’ve shopped at, your credit card information, your interests, your friends, and your private emails — a drastic change in just a couple of decades. This information is theirs to retain indefinitely.
Mixed in with this overwhelming amount of information is sensitive data that you would not want to be made public for whatever reason. This includes obvious things such as credit card numbers, passwords, personal conversations, as well as not-so-obvious information that can be inferred from what you do online. The leaking of this type of information can make one susceptible to identity theft, credit card fraud, blackmail, scams, and damaged reputations.
Ultimately, your privacy is important because it is essential to your freedom. It’s needed for the kind of exploration and insight needed to make big decisions as an individual. Contemplating a career change, grieving, or reading up on different ideologies than what you were raised with are all examples. It allows for free thinking, without outside influence. If you don’t have the privacy to do this kind of exploration without prying eyes, then are you really free?
The Phore Decentralized Marketplace
This gross breach of privacy rights underscores the need for privacy and data protection — two features offered by blockchain technology. This was the prime motivating factor for Phore to build its decentralized marketplace, which allows users to break free of the high-cost, low-privacy monopoly of eCommerce and the tech industry in general. The marketplace provides users with an alternative outlet to purchase goods without compromising their information or privacy.
The Phore team has been busy upgrading its cutting-edge marketplace, and is excited to share the new release with the community. Included in the new release will be built-in cryptocurrency trading, marketplace moderators, interface improvements, and bug fixes.
In order to make the marketplace more accessible, users will be able to trade different cryptos within the platform with zero trading fees. In the coming release, users will be able to convert any supported currency to PHR to purchase goods, with more capabilities planned for the near future.
In order to offer a better user experience for both buyers and sellers, the use of marketplace moderators will be implemented in the next iteration of the decentralized marketplace. The main purpose of these moderators is to resolve any disputes that may arise between the buyers/sellers. Making use of a multisig on each transaction, this will help protect all using the marketplace from losing funds or goods in the vast majority of cases. Members of the transaction will be able to select a moderator.
There will be two levels of moderators in the system: verified and unverified. Anyone can apply to become a moderator of the marketplace, but will only be verified if identity is shared with the Phore Blockchain team. This is crucial because Moderators must be held accountable if wrongdoing arises. However, in the spirit of privacy, the Phore team will allow moderators to register anonymously, but the community is warned to use unverified moderators at their own risk.
The Phore Blockchain team is committed to providing secure, easy-to-use platforms for its community. The Phore Decentralized Marketplace was designed with data-security and privacy specifically in mind, ensuring free and sustainable decentralized commerce for everyone — underpinned by the PHR digital currency.