As the demand for further control, transparency and ownership increases, new tools must be made available to consumers to leverage and take advantage of their own data. Recent data scandals, new regulations like GDPR and the public opinion head in the same direction. While tools made available by many corporates to "Download your data" can be useful, they don't really empower consumers as there are limited ways in which they can later leverage such data for something useful.
The Reputation Network is a federated platform (meaning each company keeps its own data in its own servers) for data sharing and data analysis, where consumers are given ownership of their data held at the time they need it. This enables a system where the consumer controls the access to such data, both to read and write, but cannot modify it, which is the reason why the data about the individual can be trusted, and we can call it "reputational" data. As an example, you might want to prove your regular payment of utilities bills, but should not be able to modify the fact that you paid late once.
Reputational data can come from many sources. Previous debt is a reasonable way to measure people's future debt behaviors (which is why credit scores use it), but it is at the same time paradoxical that people with less debt are perceived as less credible, and hence the system forces people into a cycle of debt. Other valuable sources of reputation can include utilities, telco data, insurance claims history, fraud data, social networking, star ratings from sites like AirBnB or university grades. This would build a much deeper and wider picture of how people behave.
The Reputation Network proposes that the companies can keep their own data IP in their own servers without having to share it with any other corporate, but when a consumer makes a request to, for example, apply to a credit card, a "scoring provider" permissioned by the consumer can access the data the corporate holds, in order to create such a score that can help this consumer successfully apply to such credit card. Using scores (or more generally speaking, outputs) is a more effective way than just giving away all the consumer data to the credit card company, just like a night club needs to know that you are older than 18 years old, but should not need to know that you are exactly 37 or your full name. This gives people the opportunity to leverage their data for things that really matter to them, from debt, to jobs, to insurance, access to homes or antifraud.
The reason the Reputation Network is a marketplace of scores is precisely to give people more access to more opportunities. It enables different demographics or tribes to prove they are trustworthy, for different use cases, problems and data sources that might be relevant to that particular group. As an example, traditional credit scores are good at risk measurement of people who work at blue chips and have lived in the same place for many years, but are not so good at dealing with freelancers, immigrants, or people who change jobs a lot or work at the family business. There can be a score for each of them, that makes better predictions about their behaviors and understands their needs and situations.
Furthermore, the Reputation Network's built-in write mode permission enables the different services to write additional data about the consumer's behavior, leading not just to prediction behaviors, but prevention, where consumers feel the right level of accountability to be good citizens, just like in the case of AirBnB, where people are more careful with how they leave a property than in a hotel (turning a one time game "prisoner's dilemma" into a more efficient multi-time game with future-based incentives).
If you are a corporate or startup in the banking, insurance or sharing economy sectors, you have probably
worked with credit and risk scoring companies. When you work with those companies, you are paying them
twice: with money and with data, leading to strong network effects that make you more dependent on them.
You can now be part of a decentralized ecosystem that enables fair data sharing, rewards all parties for
their contributions and gives more value and empowers your own customers.
The Reputation Network is an Open Source project. You need no permission to work with it or use it in the best way you see fit. However, if you would to help build the ecosystem, we will be glad to count you as a partner, whether you are a corporate, a small startup or a non-profit. or non-profit.
There are several reasons why you might want to join the Reputation Network Corporate Alliance. Here a few:
Prove to your customers that you want to enable them, and give them control and ownership of their data, far beyond GDPR regulations, into full empowerment to leverage their data for things that matter to them.
As a data app:
If you hold consumer data that you think could be valuable in predicting risk, you can announce it on the Reputation Network. The benefits are:
As a scoring app:
If you have unique knowledge about a particular demographic or unique data of a niche market, you can be interested in creating your own score that is more personalized and can help those people get better access to services:
As a scoring client:
If you are providing risk-based services that make use of risk scoring, you can complement traditional methods with new forms of scoring:
It will be common for corporates to want to participate as more than one actor, often as client and data provider, but also providing their own score. In all cases, consumers benefit from transparency, control, auditability and ownership of their data, and eventually fairer and personalized risk scoring that gives them access to the services they deserve.
We don't have all the answers. We have a roadmap, a paper, and some code, but in the end, an ecosystem needs to be built by the people involved and for the people who will benefit from it. We hope we can have meaningful discussions together, to build an ever growing ecosystem of transparency and empowerment with increasing utility and value for all parties.
The first technical step would be joining our testnet which is low risk and will help you gain confidence into what you can do with data and how you can benefit from it in the long term.
You can also help build scoring apps, UIs, browsers and many other tools we have in the roadmap.
Please join our Discord chat. See you soon!