Data – when properly used – is a valuable tool for scientific and academic research, and a core asset for the digital economy. But the key is, when properly used. Facebook and Cambridge Analytica are examples of improper use cases. Our goal is to let citizens decide how their data is used.
Today all data is stored, distributed and evaluated at central points – even clouds end up in central servers. It doesn’t take Edward Snowden to figure out that this isn’t a very secure model. And then there’s the data sales and sharing that’s the bread and butter of free services. What a mess.
Data isn’t the new oil. It’s the new oil spill. Tidal quantities are flooding the system, and we’re at a loss to analyse it for anyone’s benefit. The result: Oceans of data detritus. Nobody knows how much junk is stored. Some estimate over 85 % is redundant, obsolete, trivial, and unusable data.
Experts estimate that redundant, obsolete, trivial, and unknown data costs billions worldwide every year. For example: A company storing 250 terabytes of data will incur total data storage costs of 1.25 million US dollars*. Result: investment of over 1 million US dollar in storing useless data.
Buckets of money are being made with citizens’ personal data at the expense of their privacy. They provide the raw material for innovative solutions, research, science, and to boost the economy. But they can’t monetise or donate data of their choosing. It’s time for citizens to reclaim their data.
Collecting and storing data on central servers causes a lot of CO2. Data centres already consume more than 2%* of the world's electricity. Think about it. 85% of the stored data are estimated as redundant, obsolete, trivial or completely unknown. We waste valuable energy collecting virtual garbage!
*Source: The next Web
Instead of collecting all the data twice and three times on central servers and evaluating it there by algorithms, we can send algorithms to where the data is – to citizens’ devices. A decentralised approach for a sustainable data economy uses the unused computing power of citizens’ devices, as smartphones, computers as well as IoT-devices.
Edge computing’s principles enable data to be evaluated directly at source. It no longer must leave the devices or be stored redundantly on multiple central servers. Algorithms are dispatched to the citizens’ devices, and only the findings – the valuable data insights – are returned and stored.
polypoly is developing a much needed platform and technical infrastructure for a decentralised dataconomy. By reducing costs for data storage and generating valuable data insights, it is economically sustainable. By giving citizens back control of their personal data and enabling a digital income by renting out their processing power, it is socially sustainable. And by reducing the energy required for storing useless data and making sensible use of resources already consumed for end devices, it is environmentally sustainable. polypoly is the new and improved ecosystem for data.