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AMA Recap: Swash meets Oddgems

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Swash is committed to the broader education of the crypto space while spreading the message about the new data economy, built upon the principles of decentralisation and individual sovereignty.

Swash was thrilled to join Oddgems, a notorious crypto analyst and researcher, on Telegram this Tuesday to spread the message about Swash’s mission to this engaged and enthusiastic community.

Swash’s Chloë Diamond explored all topics about its revolutionary technology, architecture, business model, First Wave Solutions, partnerships, user’s data rights, and much more.

Continue reading for the full conversation.

Can you describe SwashApp and its browser plug-in?

Chloë:
Swash is a movement for reimagining data ownership. It’s an ecosystem of tools and services that allow for people to earn from the value of their data, businesses to access high-quality, zero-party data at scale, and developers to build the next generation of data solutions.

Swash started as a browser application that currently has over 60K users. It allows for people to capture, pool, and sell their data while receiving their share of the profits it generates, while they surf the web as normal.

What are the advantages of using SwashApp over other platforms?

Chloë:
Great question! Well, there aren’t really any other solutions that give so much control and value back to everyday internet users in the same way that Swash does. It goes beyond the blockchain by bringing a solution that anyone can use to reclaim control over their data, even if they don’t know what crypto is or aren’t so tech-savvy. Swash flips the existing data economy on its head by rebalancing the power dynamics between people, businesses, and developers.

Can you tell us about the technology used to build the Swash plugin? Will it be using a lot of CPU power in a browser? We all know how CPU-intensive browsers are these days...

Chloë:
Sure. The extension is developed using Chrome and Firefox SDKs and is mostly based on Javascript, Typescript, and React.

We’ve released at least 15 versions of the extension over the last two years, and from the 60K+ who have installed it, so far, there hasn’t been any major report on CPU or RAM usage.

What kinds of data does Swash collect? Does it also collect emails, username passwords, and other sensitive information?

Chloë:
Nope, Swash doesn’t collect anything sensitive! You’ll be asked to verify your email while installing the browser app (so we know you’re not a bot 🤖), but that won’t be used for anything else. (Although, if you do want to receive our email newsletter and be the first to receive our updates, you can sign up here!).

The kind of data Swash collects can be found in the Privacy Policy within the onboarding screens. Basically, it’s broken down into specific categories such as News, Travel, Social, Shopping, etc, and then the top domains from each of those categories. This list is constantly growing. The type of data captured on each site/domain varies depending on the site, but it's nothing sensitive.

So, who receives the data you sell? How does Swash make money from this data? How will Swash adhere to GDPR rules?

Chloë:
Data buyers will be the ones purchasing the data, and these include the likes of Market and Analytics Companies, Advertisers and Brands, AI/ML startups, researchers, etc.

Swash receives a percentage of profits from the sale of data. So, for the browser extension, that’s 30% - the remaining 70% is distributed out to members. Regarding GDPR, Swash is an opt-in solution that puts transparency and security first, and we've also completed a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) for the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Now coming to partnerships... I see lots of great partnerships. What kind of partnerships do you have with Chainlink, Ocean protocol, and Streamr in general?

Chloë:
Thanks! We’re proud to be working alongside some of the brightest teams in the crypto and data space. Just yesterday we released this blog which tells you all about our partners and involvement with them.

As per the latest Swash update, there will be various solutions that are going to be built on top of Swash’s core technology, including the Data Union, sIntelligence, sApps, and sCompute.

Can you briefly describe them?

Chloë:
Of course. Here’s a brief summary of each:

  • Data Union: Optimising individual agency as a collective force by rewarding union members for the value of their data.
  • sIntelligence: Bringing unique insights to businesses across all industries through a customisable, comprehensive web-based platform.
  • sApps: Expanding the Swash ecosystem with the tools, community, and culture for building the next era of data solutions.
  • sCompute: Uniting innovation with access by making on-site data computation capabilities a reality.

Swash, the world’s first and most successful Data Union, is expanding into an all-inclusive data ecosystem. Can you explain what exactly is a Data Union?

Chloë:
Great question. Data Unions are sort of analogous to Data Trusts or Data Cooperatives.

A Data Union is an organised structure that works to manage and protect the interests of its members. The people within the DU have greater power and control over how their data is collected, accessed, and used while receiving a share of the profits generated.

By rewarding people for the value of their data, people can earn as they surf the web without having to change their habits. It gives people a chance to practice their data rights while celebrating their role as essential value providers in the ecosystem.

Now regarding Outlier Ventures... What is Swash's relation with Outlier Ventures like? Will they be accelerating Swash, and is Swash looking for any further funding?

Chloë:
Check out this blog post. Swash was part of Outlier Ventures’ summer 2020 Base Camp cohort. That’s their accelerator program, so we've already finished that. Further funding won't be via OV, instead, they continue to support Swash with networking, partnerships, and promotions.

Coming to my last question... When will the token sale be? Please let us know more about that.

Chloë:
To be announced shortly! I can’t say much more about it yet except to urge you to subscribe to the Swash newsletter and to join our Telegram channel to be the first to know.

Now let's start with the community round... I was following the AMA, but despite all the affirmations from your side about data collection and safety, I somehow still do not feel comfortable sharing/selling my data because of obvious reasons.

So, how can you make us comfortable about that? This is not only for Swash but in general.

Chloë:
Thanks for your question! I guess my first thought is simply that this data is being sold anyway whenever we use the internet, so it's happening regardless. Swash is simply adding a layer where the people who contribute that data are able to reap the benefits from it too. The other thing is that it's an opt-in/opt-out system, so you're in control over what you share and when. You can also see the data that is captured and can remove it before it's uploaded if you decide not to share it. Finally, it's anonymised and end-to-end encrypted also for added security.

A big part of what we're working at Swash is to shed some light on how the current data economy works and then how Swash is a Web 3 alternative to it. I think the best way to do that is with action and empowering people to have a say in what happens to their data because many people don't really know that data is what makes the likes of Google, Facebook, etc so powerful.

Well said, great answer! "Data is being sold anyway, whenever we use the internet" - Powerful statement!

Chloë:
A great video on this that I love to share is this one by Jaron Lanier. Such a helpful explainer!

Can I sell my data (that is generated through Swash) directly on Ocean Marketplace by myself, instead of Swash selling it to Data Buyers?

Chloë:
Sure, but gathering that data is perhaps one hurdle, and, secondly, individual data isn't so valuable. When data is aggregated (like we do with Data Unions), that's when it becomes interesting. So, the more data there is/the bigger the Data Union is, the more value that actually gets returned to members!

I am also confused about the copy and paste that we do and how they save the data. So, what if we copy and paste the private key or seed phrase? Is it safe?

Chloë:
That would count as sensitive data and isn't captured.

Thanks for the great answers. 2 questions.

1. You are a data union, and seeking to provide data sovereignty/ownership solutions utilizing blockchain technology. Can you explain why Swash is better than other competitors in this same space such as Rose, Scrt, Automata?

2. You mentioned that Swash is opt-in and hence GDPR compliant. Is it also California Privacy Law compliant?

Chloë:
Thanks for the questions! Starting with your first question, I'm not familiar with the projects you mentioned, so I would have to research them to answer you fully but, honestly, the data industry is so huge there's no way one company can deal with all of it! In the true nature of Web 3, we see Swash as complementary to others in this space, and we're excited to collaborate with others as we work towards a common vision.

Regarding your second question, CCPA and other legislation is heavily based on GDPR, which sort of sets a standard worldwide for data rights. The opt-in/opt-out side and the transparency and control over data is just as much a priority for CCPA as it is for GDPR.

We know that these big giants are definitely stealing our data and that's why we hate them because, currently, there are no viable options.

  1. So in this regard, I wanted to know exact details on how my data is collected by Swash.
  2. Is it possible to request Swash to delete my data if in the future I decide not to do so?
  3. Is the data being collected linked to my identity?

Chloë:

  1. You can currently see the captured data in the 'Data' tab of the extension. Also, as mentioned, our privacy policy states what data from which domains is captured too.
  2. You simply opt-out by switching Swash off using the toggle, or uninstalling. It's that easy!
  3. No, it's not. The only identifier is your public wallet address to be able to receive your earnings, but that's not connected to your personal identity.

About Swash
Swash is an ecosystem of tools and services that enable people, businesses, and developers to unlock the latent value of data by pooling, securely sharing, and monetising its value.

People share their data to earn while retaining their privacy. Businesses access high-quality, zero-party data in a sustainable and compliant way. Developers set up and build systems within a collaborative development framework with ease.

Swash is reimagining data ownership by enabling all actors of the data economy to earn, access, build and collaborate in a liquid digital ecosystem for data.

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