Oasis Labs CEO Dawn Song on Building the Responsible Data EconomyOct 5, 2020
"There is a real need in the real world. We are at an inflection point. The Internet has changed everybody's life -- for the most part for the better -- but we face many challenges, particularly around the question of who has control of data and how data should be utilised," Dawn said on the latest episode of Follow the White Rabbit podcast.
A serial entrepreneur who develops research in her lab before deploying the tools and solutions to benefit users and companies alike, Dawn says Oasis Labs has a mission to build a "responsible data economy."
She is aware she is tackling a vast, complex problem. Users, she explains, have lost control of their data, barely knowing how it is sold and used to target and manipulate them. They certainly derive little value from the data they generate. Companies, on the other hand, also face challenges. They are squeezed, she says, because they are losing the trust of their users, are facing higher costs of privacy compliance and they remain vulnerable to massive data breaches. Besides, with sensitive data often siloed, companies are also hindered from using the data in a way that would actually allow them to provide better services.
"Essentially there is a lot of tension and conflict," she said.
That's why she is using her "Blockchain 3.0" research to return to users the control over their data. She also helps them to get value from the data while protecting their privacy and, at the same time, making that data more accessible for important use cases such as in healthcare. This is a tall order but the solution, Dawn says, starts with recognizing the notion of data rights.
Users of data should be viewed as "stewards." They should not simply use data to influence people but rather to benefit them. Companies will benefit too, because they can actually access the data in ways that allow them to deliver improved services to users.
To do all this, Oasis Labs builds an environment combining advances in areas such as decentralization and secure computing. Data is more useful once it can be computed, Dawn explains, and Oasis Labs provides an environment with an immutable log of both the rights to data and the specific ways in which the data can be utilised.
"The vision we are shooting for is the responsible data economy. We are building a new paradigm where users can have better control of their data and their rights to data, and where data is enabled to be utilized in a privacy-preserving way and a responsible way."
To hear more, follow us down the rabbit hole: listen to the conversation here or on your favorite streaming service.