Do You Own Your Own Face?

4 min read

Faces – we all have them – but what are they really?

In a literal sense, they are the part of our body that houses our eyes, nose, and mouth. Faces, in most cases, are what humans use to recognize one another. They are not only used to identify; now more than ever, they also represent our identity.

From driver’s licenses to passports; our faces are the focal point of the documents we use to gain entry to the place we won’t go. In fact, rumor has it; facial recognition could soon be required to access iPhone models.

While protecting one’s physical face from harm is always a good idea, protecting what our faces represent – our identity – is becoming every bit as an important in the digital age. Because safeguarding our identity is key, for those who wish to maintain even a small degree of privacy in the years to come.

Chances are if you surf the net, there are at least a few companies that have access to your personal information. In some cases, we give sites our data without even considering the potential consequences.

Facebook knows your face.

Take for instance social media giant Facebook – a company whose name quite literally contains the word “face.” It’s estimated that Facebook has access to around 1 billion faceprints, which were primarily provided by user uploading photos on their own home pages. They also have millions of user’s data and personal information, which has been compromised in multiple high-profile hacks. Hacks aside, those who utilize the social media platform have no control over how Facebook (or any other organization) uses their image or info.

However, Facebook is hardly the only company that stores information. Almost any subscription, membership, or item we purchase online requires us to share at least some personal information with whoever is providing said service or merchandise.

As a society, to a certain degree, we have come to accept that giving up privacy and sharing our personal information is the price we have to pay for the conveniences and services the internet provides – but does it have to be this way?

The answer is no.

In recent years, a new weapon has emerged that can help can help folks win the ongoing battle over control of our own identities – blockchain tech.

Those who are concerned about protecting their info and likeness, in an age when doing so has become increasingly difficult, should take a look at what this relatively new technology has to offer.

Blockchains are being used for far more than trading cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

For example, we have Brave – a blockchain-based browser that is designed to protect users privacy by blocking targeted ads and website trackers.

This revolutionary technology has helped make platforms like uPort possible. uPort allows users to verify their identity without revealing personal information, through the use of what are known as smart contracts.

In fact, blockchain tech has allowed developers to create an entire genre of dApps (decentralized apps) that can help folks protect one of their most valuable assets – their identity. Dock and EthBage are some examples of dApps that are focused on improving the way we share information.

These are just a few blockchain-based products that are changing the game.

Though not everyone is aware, thanks in large part to blockchains, the internet has entered its 3rd incarnation – known as Web 3. As the “World Wide Web” enters this revolutionary new phase, we will see a greater emphasis on decentralization and allowing users to take back control of their personal data. Some of the previously mentioned items are helping hasten this transition.

At the end of the day, for those who are concerned with keeping their information safe, there are plenty of tools available to assist – it’s just a matter of taking the time to learn about them.

Do you own your face?

Do you own your identity?

If you feel like the answer is no, then perhaps it’s time to think about taking them back – and blockchain tech is here to help do just that.

After all, as world famous psychologist Erik Erikson once said, “In the social jungle of human existence, there is no feeling of being alive without a sense of identity.”