The Avatar of Me - Impersonation

Call To Sweets — Jul 2020 by José Miguel Barros

All we know about the fuzz around privacy and personal data exploitation these days. Many “free” on-line services take advantage of collecting customer behaviours to explore advertisement advantages or sell information to third-party interests.

The Avatar of Me

“Freemium” services convinced customers to pay a small monthly amount for their services. In many cases, consumers understand that it is better to know exactly what the service commitment is and the price. This is the case of Dropbox for example, which introduced a revolutionary on-line storage service, without the need of scan user stored content to make a buck! Imagine Dropbox taking advantage of content analysis, stored in their servers, for advertisement purposes.

Many people are losing confidence in Google and Facebook services because their business models rely on intrusive advertising. There is a significant risk of using personal data without consent. Untraceable… and unacceptable these days.

Thinking of an emerging new kind of subscription services – most of them from small-but-specialized companies – that will take advantage of digital marketplaces, like modernized CSPs will provide, will create lots of confusion in digital ecosystems.

The digital economy is going through a new kind of fragmentation, becoming a nightmare to manage. Many of us are now experiencing “small” monthly fees for a myriad of services – each one is a relatively insignificant amount, but all together is starting to gain relevance. Imagine subscribing Spotify, HBO, Netflix, Dropbox, Grammarly, Office 360: these services combined will cost you around 50 Euros per month.

This monthly pocket-money subscription model will achieve its limits: dozens of “small amounts” will soon hit everyone’s budget. Thus, opening new opportunities around “old” business models (which has payed the bills for decades)? Will we go back to trusty-advertising as a method to sponsor the value to the customer? This is most likely not the way to go…

A new kind of space to serve and bundle un-correlated parties will emerge, where each person can act as a “consumer” and as a “provider”; not only by watching ads but also by participating and providing resources to all kinds of services - serving edge-computing and blockchain distributed paradigms.

A peer-to-peer ecosystem will emerge in new ways, changing the way we are used to being served and paying for services. Cryptocurrencies will be part of the solution, as well as individuals' impersonation in digital marketplaces. Because of the need for privacy, the digital economy will mostly interact with "avatars" of real persons - where each of us only reveals what is needed to other people and services interactions.

The purpose of these impersonation avatars must be crystal clear: buy and provide services. No strings attached!