The Digital Feudal System: Power Dynamics of the Digital Age

data digital feudalism

data digital feudalism

Data is the most valuable asset of the digital age. As this reality unfolds, the world is awakening to the consequences and opportunities that the digital domain poses for mankind. This segment of the Data Sovereignty Series will illustrate the forces at play that dictate the demand and value of data throughout the digital economy.

The ever-expanding internet comes with an ever-increasing demand for data. In many ways, data is like oil, not the most attractive asset to individuals, but the modern world would come to a halt without it. As data is recognized more and more as personal property, people demand premium storage and convenient accessibility with little risk. This demand for data has brought with it an influx of cloud-storage companies with heightened valuations throughout the 2010s, creating a market oligopoly that controls the majority of the global data supply.

In the digital age, data ownership is a proxy for authority. Similar to the oil tycoons who amassed incredible power and political influence through their market dominance, companies in control of global data have achieved similar status. However, if data companies are like oil companies, they will be met with safer, and cheaper substitutes after a few big leaks. The US data leaks over the last year are comparable to historical oil leaks, where those in power covered up the damage their mistakes caused with little repercussions to follow.

The actions taken by the biggest players in the data space are considered by many to be tyrannical, despite the pro-humanitarian perception that these companies have created for themselves. Personal data such as preferences, habits, information, and media have been given value from the demand experienced for them from digital advertisers. This value is established and intermediated through the market that big tech companies have created.

The current data landscape resembles a digital feudal system, where big tech companies exercise dominion over click-inducing platforms in exchange for individuals’ loyalty and service. This modernized feudal replica sees tech companies distribute websites and social media platforms – the digital “land” of our times – to users for the cultivation of engagement and the subsequent harvesting of the created data. Internet users become digital serfs, sending their data as tribute up the pyramid to their digital lords – Facebook, Amazon Web Services, and Google, among several others. This digital pyramid’s structure of services acts as a veil that masks the true value of internet users’ “labor” to those unfamiliar with the system. As such, the majority of the modern population continues to labor blindly.

Like feudal lords, tech companies are profiting off of user data at an increasing rate, with Facebook and Google creating an empire of data creation and distribution through “free” software to users. These companies have large enough audiences to easily adopt a paid subscription business model, rather, their data distribution model monetarily incentivizes them to continue harvesting.

While digital feudalism has created a profit hierarchy from data control, the era of quantum computing is dawning, and data is proving to only be as valuable as the encryption that protects it. Without encryption to secure and ensure the value of data, data would be free-flowing and utterly valueless.

Recent data leaks including the U.S. Government and T-Mobile breaches reveal that most widely-trusted digital security practices are vulnerable to modern hackers, never mind the capabilities of quantum computers. Thus, society must awaken to their blind enslavement to big tech and redefine the data supply chain. For true sovereignty to continue in the digital age, individuals must take control of their data.

While the concept of individual data control is not yet in vogue, there are a few leaders that are emerging with technologies and platforms to empower personal data sovereignty. One of these leaders is cryptography solutions provider Crown Sterling, who is putting data control back in the hands of individuals through the Crown Sovereign, a quantum-resistant cryptocurrency and data management platform. Through the Crown Sterling Wallet, individuals are enabled to transfer their data and deploy NFTs with quantum-proof security. This technology equips individuals to safely manage, distribute, and monetize their data how they wish. As the capabilities of quantum computers become more widely utilized, it will be those who understand the implications of data control who retain their freedom.

For greater discussions on data sovereignty in the digital age, be sure to tune into the Data Sovereignty Series each Tuesday.

Crown Sterling Chairman and Founder, Robert Grant, Featured on Sarson Funds AMA

Robert Grant live

Robert Grant live

On September 8th, 2021, Sarson Funds Chief Marketing Officer Jahon Jamali welcomed Robert Grant, Chairman and Founder of Crown Sterling, to the Sarson Funds AMA on YouTube. 

Crown Sterling is a cutting-edge cryptography provider and engineer of quantum-resistant cryptocurrency, the Crown Sovereign. Crown Sterling’s launch of their quantum-resistant encryption solution, CrownEncryptOTP, marks a major milestone for the encryption community, especially as the rise of quantum computing poses significant risks to widely-used methods of data encryption.

As the digital age unfolds, Crown Sterling’s encryption solution and digital asset seek to shape the future of data control, putting data ownership back in the hands of original creators versus big tech. According to Grant, “Data is the intangible personal property of the original producer and therefore it’s protected by the US constitution, the United Nations Charter, and the European Union. Ownership is a basic human right.” In order to raise awareness about data’s inclusion as the intangible property of original producers, Crown Sterling authored the Data Bill of Rights, which is engrained into the genesis block of the Crown Sterling blockchain. 

Under Crown Sterling’s leadership, a new era of personal sovereignty is dawning as the digital age commences. Individuals are awakening to their sovereignty and power to control, distribute, and monetize their data, just as big tech does behind many of the freemium business models of digital commerce sites, social media communities, and search engines. Through the Crown Sovereign digital asset and blockchain, users are empowered to own, control and protect their data just like their tangible personal property.

This conversation spanned from data sovereignty, big tech ethics, traditional government structures and the nation-state system, and how the crypto ecosystem provides alternative solutions to each of these topics. 

A recording of the AMA is available on the Sarson Funds Youtube, here.

For more on Crown Sterling and their work to empower personal data sovereignty, please visit www.crownsterling.io.

Data Privacy in the Digital Age: Who Profits From Data Control and How You Can Protect Yourself

next generation Data security

next generation Data security

The digital age is here. As most of the developed world is experiencing, more and more of life is proving to be reliant on technology and the pleasures a more connected world brings. From the digitization of currencies, real estate, to virtual reality simulations, technology is inspiring a new paradigm of thought, ethics, innovation, and even life itself. With the emergence of technology as a cornerstone in this new age, data collected through the global adoption of technology is becoming an integral part of the modern human experience. As data emerges as the most valuable asset in the digital age, its storage and control becomes an equally as crucial concept to harness. This article will discuss the realities of data control, who profits off of it, the ethical dilemma that arises because of it, and how you can protect and reinforce your personal sovereignty.

Data is crucial to the daily operations of enterprises, consumers, and the world at large. As such, many companies profit off of the market-wide need for premier, third-party data storage that removes control from the original producer. Whether proprietary software, personal information, or corporate documents, companies are willing to pay top dollar for the peace of mind that their data is protected and soundly stored.

Amazon Web Services dominates retail and enterprise data storage, followed closely by Microsoft and Google. Because of the large market share of each of these companies and their subsidiaries, it can be difficult to store data without leaning on a tech giant. These data oligopolists facilitate a large part of many companies’ ability to function due to the sensitive nature of data and corporate reliance on it, and thus, offer their services at high markups. Additionally, user data is disproportionately stored by tech giants as consumers create data and share personal information through social media and search engines that are kept in centralized databases.

Social media giants such as Facebook have gone under fire for their practice of data misappropriation and potentially unlawful dissemination of user data to third party interests. Despite the inherent unpopularity of this business model, tech companies continue to store and distribute data without significant action taken against them for misleading or hidden terms and conditions that allow them to profit from user data. While tech companies may not always profit directly from the consumers’ pockets, companies with ‘free’ consumer services often employ revenue models that actually profit from the distribution of their user data to interested third parties; recall that in many cases, if one does not pay for the product, they are the product.

Companies like Apple and Microsoft do not need to sell user data because they make money from their products, and their strong privacy policies work to increase consumer trust and future sales. People do not want their data to be taken from them without consent, however, a number of big tech companies continue to harvest data because their business models enforce that user data is more valuable than users themselves. Many remain unworried about data harvesting or see it as a way of paying for certain platforms, however, they remain unaware of how valuable their data actually is. Several companies that offer data management services would cease to exist without data harvesting, or else they would not do it. A subscription model would allow these very platforms to exist without selling data, however, they stand to make more from harvesting and distribution.

True data privacy in the digital age requires a multifaceted approach. If internet users want to protect and control their data for themselves, then it is critical to be sensitive about who they grant access to their data and what platforms they create data within. A Virtual Private Network, or VPN, is a good tool that works to provide some data and location anonymity, however, free VPN’s often have the same data harvesting business model as the tech giants.

Novel approaches to data sovereignty in the digital age have a strong alignment with digital assets and the crypto ecosystem.  Decentralized web browsers such as Brave ensure the privacy of user data and actually reward users for the data they provide to advertisers with the Brave token, the native cryptocurrency to the Brave browser. Additionally, blockchain can be used as a trusted intermediary to disseminate data and sensitive messaging. In the dawn of quantum computing, future-proof security is essential. Crown Sterling‘s Crown Sovereign token provides security resilient to quantum capabilities that is used to protect data transferred across the Crown Sterling chain. The decentralized and free-reigning nature of digital assets position cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology as necessary tools for ensuring personal privacy in the digital age, and thus, we must look to the leadership of Crown Sterling and Brave as pioneers in the next generation of personal empowerment.

As the digital age unfolds, personal privacy is no longer limited to locking your door at night and making sure your blinds are shut, privacy now extends to being cognoscente of which mobile devices use microphones to listen to  personal conversations and which websites track user browsing data, all in the name of data control. In a digital world, cutting-edge approaches to data privacy and personal sovereignty are now required maintain personal freedom. Sarson Funds believes our audience must stay vigilant in order to navigate the next chapter of the human experience, and must understand how the emergence of data sovereignty intersects with the rising prominence of digital assets.

Data Sovereignty: Consequences and Opportunities that Dictate the Future

Digital asset data Sarson Funds

Digital asset data Sarson Funds

As the digital age commences, data control is at the forefront of a major shift in the human experience. Data collected from internet users is changing the way businesses operate, governments monitor, and people interact and consume. In parallel with society’s emerging reliance on data, however, are the risks posed by bad actors who seize and manipulate data for malicious purposes. Big tech companies track and harvest all data that runs through their systems, making them epicenters of data control, and thus, prime targets to hackers. In tandem, many leading tech corporations have participated in an ethical decline with regards to data control, and legislation lags behind in holding bad actors accountable. This article will discuss the consequences and opportunities of data control and how individuals are awakening to their personal data sovereignty.

Data is a cornerstone of the emerging digital age. As technology progresses, new opportunities arise for companies to harness data and better understand their customers. On the other hand, individuals are alerting to their ability to control their data and those who can access it, as awareness raises about malware, cookies, and data trackers that are downloaded with and without consent.

People are beginning to understand the implications of their digital footprint as it relates to social media and digital marketplace engagement. Thus, the dissemination of user data relies on the ethics of tech corporations, and less so on the users who initially granted them access.  Ignorance to the realities of data control has created widespread polarization and distrust, while on the other hand, mindful action is leading to an emerging class of digitally sovereign individuals.

As data privacy concerns mount, there are few actions being taken by most internet users to mitigate data misappropriation, largely because many do not understand the implications of data control. Even with data breaches and reports of malicious data use, much of the population does not understand how to protect their data from bad actors. People are turning to new messaging apps that promise better protection, but their data continues to be compromised and misused.

Dissemination of information is dictated by a handful of corporations with the ability to divide people against each other by controlling narratives and spreading propaganda. Additionally, algorithms dictating more immersive user experiences on social media and other internet applications are showing people the information that they “want” to see based on their prior engagement. By default, internet users are being quasi-controlled by compelling clickbait that trigger emotional responses, causing freedom of thought to diminish.

As a result of the growing prominence of data in the digital age, data is the most valuable asset in the digital age. In fact, user data is so valuable that big tech is able to offer freemium services because of the profitability of their own data dissemination to digital advertisers. Fortunately, individuals are beginning to recognize the power that they have to control, monetize, and track their data with the emergence of blockchain technology. Those who enact their power to control their own data are positioned for a competitive edge in the emerging digital landscape.

Awareness is spreading about the implications of data sovereignty in the wake of data integrity concerns. Data is being increasingly recognized as personal property, and the line between personal sovereignty and data sovereignty is blurring. Thus, next generation approaches to data privacy, encryption, and monetization are incentivizing people to take control of the data they produce and lean on the disintermediated nature of decentralized technology such as blockchain and cryptocurrencies. As the digital age progresses, the truly free individuals will be those who harness the power and value of their own data, leaving behind digital serfs that remain blissfully ignorant of big tech’s puppeteering within their day-to-day lives.

Crown Sterling, a distinguished thought leader in the data sovereignty conversation, recently authored a Data Bill of Rights, which declares data to be the intangible personal property of original producers, otherwise known as consumers in the digital age. Crown Sterling is among an emerging class of future-focused data rights activists, cryptographers, digital asset projects, and computer scientists who are engineering a future of personal data empowerment.

At Sarson Funds, we closely follow advancements in data security as they relate to the future of the digital asset ecosystem. The mission to empower personal data sovereignty is an essential component for the future of digital assets. We believe that digital asset investors should educate themselves on the implications of data security, and how digital assets and blockchain technology can facilitate a more sovereign future. For greater discussion on the prominence of data in the digital age, stay tuned for our data sovereignty series, publishing every Tuesday for the next six weeks.

Crown Sterling Announces Successful MainNet of Quantum-Resistant Token

Crown Sovereign MainNet Launch

Crown Sovereign MainNet Launch

Newport Beach, California–(July 20, 2021) – Crown Sterling recently launched the successful MainNet of the Crown Sovereign token (CSOV), the world’s first quantum-resistant digital asset. Crown Sterling’s successful MainNet launch represents a significant milestone for the future of digital assets with the emergent and growing risk of quantum computing in the digital age.

To view the full announcement, including downloadable images, bios, and more, click here.

Key Takeaways:

  • Crown Sterling has engineered the world’s first quantum-resistant digital asset, the Crown Sovereign token (CSOV).
  • The Crown Sovereign MainNet has been successfully launched alongside the Crown Sovereign wallet, which empowers users to secure data against quantum computing.
  • The Crown Sovereign token is available for presale purchase before its exchange launch in Q3 2021.

Crown Sterling is offering an extended presale of CSOV tokens. Additional information can be found at www.crownsterling.io.