The internet has a trust problem. People are producing unprecedented realms of data â€” over 175 zettabytes by 2025, according to IDCOpens a new window . But it’s hard for many people to trust that the organizations they are turning that data over to will act appropriately.Â
Whether it’s employment records or just photos of what they had for lunch, people’s personal data is one of the most important things they own.Â
But as events like the Cambridge Analytica scandalOpens a new window showed, ordinary people find it difficult if not impossible to understand or control how their data is used, let alone profit from it. An entire industry of data intermediaries has captured the value that personal data generates, and none of it flows back to the people who created it. In a way, this problem mirrors that of what happened to content creators when file-sharing software arrived. Why share the content you’ve created â€” or your personal data â€” if you won’t receive benefits from doing so?
Perhaps that’s why people are so unhappy with how the internet works. A 2021 studyOpens a new window asked people to rank how much they trusted different institutions with their personal data. Traditional banks scored a median result of five. Governments scored a median of four. What did Big Tech score? A median of two.
One of the most disturbing features of Web2 is its inability to allow people to understand, control, and profit from their personal data. It’s disrespectful of data dignity, and that isn’t right. There must be better ways to manage our personal data.
Enter Web3 and its promise to return power to the people. This next generation of the internet will be built on decentralization, a more dignified way to extend benefits to the data owner and away from centralized organizations. In other words, it’s a new way to build trust.
Employees Don’t Always Trust Their Employers Are Protecting Their Data
At BurstIQ, we work with human resources departments to create new Web3 ways to handle employees’ personal data. Utilizing innovative blockchain services, the LifeGraph platform creates a digital expression of a person along with context while putting employees in control of how their data is shared and with whom through smart consent contracts. With such platforms, each data asset becomes smart data, so you can trust it’s reliable, complete, timely and secure. All employee data becomes part of a secure and intelligent ecosystem enabling rich data comparisons to power hyper-personalized digital employee experiences. All of this helps organizations deliver more value and establish more trust with employees.Â
One of the key lessons we have learned is that employees don’t always trust their employers to safeguard their personal information. Employees worry about the anonymity of the data collected and how the data will be stored, protected, and used. This lack of trust is due in part because cyberattacks on healthcare systems spikedOpens a new window during the pandemic but also because employees perceive they receive no value in return for sharing their data.Â
Web3 will change all of that. Imagine being able to see exactly what information your employer knows about you. And imagine an employer being transparent about what it does with that data. That transparency will build trust.
So how can you, as an HR leader, take advantage of a Web3 approach to employee data?
Here’s What HR Can Do To Earn Trust
It looks like a dilemma: organizations need to collect information about their employees, but those employees don’t always trust that even the best-intentioned organizations with that data. Do HR leaders simply have to bite the bullet and accept that tradeoff? We don’t think so.
HR teams can earn trust by embracing data abundance ethically. There are multiple steps they can take.
- Unify data the right way: Turn your data into smart data, making it reliable, complete, timely, and secure. You can bring all your data from across different systems into a trusted ecosystem, giving you a single source of truth to inform all decisions, processes, and programs across your organization.Â
- Manage and use data to promote data dignity: Demonstrate respect for employees’ data privacy by giving them control of how their data is shared and with whom. In return for sharing this data, employees should receive more value from an organization.
- Accelerate trust with digital technology: Quickly deliver digital solutions purpose-built to foster trust with user experiences that provide complete control of consent and transparency into how their data is being used.Â
- Apply artificial intelligence and machine learning to deliver personalized experiences: Gain a deeper human understanding with intelligence powered by a trusted data source so you can tailor solutions to the unique needs of a diverse workforce.
This Is How You Can Get Ready for Web3
This approach can position companies across industries to be ahead of the curve in the emerging Web3 landscape. It can help them realize that they must connect with both the data and the person behind it in a way that is mutually beneficial. When individual privacy and ownership rights are respected, incentives are aligned, and trust is earned, everyone can reap the benefits. As an HR leader, this will be the future of how personal data is stored, shared, protected, and used.
Everyone can reap the benefits when individual privacy and ownership rights are respected, incentives are aligned, and trust is earned. As an HR leader, this will be the future of how personal data is stored, shared, protected, and used. That’s the right way to build trust.