Uber is gig economy, for better or worse, and the disruptor that used to send shockwaves throughout mobile space. Now, however, Uber is getting a free ride. The company is reportedly dealing with a far-reaching cybersecurity breach. According to the ride-hailing giant, attackers had no access to sensitive user data, or at least there was no evidence that it wasn’t. Whether or not sensitive user data was compromised, this case points to a long-standing problem with today’s applications. Can we continue to sacrifice our data—and thus our privacy and security—for convenience?
Web2, the land of hackable honeypots
Uber’s data breach record isn’t spotless. As recently as July, the ride-hailing giant admitted to concealing a massive breach in 2016 that exposed the personal data of 57 million customers. In that sense, the timing of the new incident couldn’t have been worse, and given how long it will take to determine the damage caused by such breaches, the full scale of the incident has yet to emerge.
Uber’s data breaches are not uncommon – Web2 applications are ubiquitous and continue to penetrate our lives, many of them from Facebook to door punch, also suffered violations. The more Web2 applications proliferate in the consumer space and beyond, the more often we will encounter such incidents in the long run.
The problem boils down to the architecture of applications built on Web2. Through their centralized technology stack, they naturally create honeypots that contain users’ sensitive data, from payment details to consumer behavior. As users amass more and more data through various consumer applications, hackers have more and more honeypots to hunt down.
The only real solution to this problem is also the most radical – consumer applications should embrace Web3, restructure their data and payment architectures to give users more security and privacy, and embrace this new era of the internet.
What would a Web3 Uber look like?
Web3 does not necessarily mean that the interface of the application we interact with has changed. In fact, one might argue that continuity and similarity are the keys to adoption.One Web3 Uber On the surface it looks and feels almost the same. It will have the same general purpose and functionality as the existing Web2 ride-hailing application. Below deck, however, it will be a very different beast. All the benefits of Web3, such as decentralized governance, data sovereignty, and an inclusive monetization model—a system for democratically distributing income—are designed under the surface.
Web3 is all about verifiable ownership. For the first time, people can verifiably own assets, whether digital or physical, over the network. This is about ownership of value in the form of cryptocurrency, but in the case of Web3 ride-hailing, it also involves retaining ownership of your data as well as ownership of the app, the underlying network, and the vehicle itself.
In effect, Web3 Uber will allow users to control how much data they provide, to whom, and when. Web3 Uber will ditch centralized databases in favor of peer-to-peer networking. Self-Sovereign Identity — a decentralized digital ID that you own and control — will allow people and machines to have decentralized digital passports that do not depend on any one central authority for their normal functioning.
Drivers and passengers will be able to authenticate themselves in a fully peer-to-peer fashion on the Web3 ride-hailing application via their SSI. They can also choose what data they want to share or sell and to whom, exercising full ownership of their personal information and digital footprint.
Decentralized governance will bring another major shift. This will mean that all stakeholders, whether drivers, passengers, app developers or investors, will have the ability to co-own, co-govern and co-money at every level – starting with the infrastructure that powers the car . Decentralized Applications (DApps) The complexity of the DApp itself. For the user, this will be a ride-hailing app for the user.
Imagine that the fees Uber charges are decided by a vote of drivers and riders, not by the board of directors in Silicon Valley. Ask the next Uber driver what they think about it. As far as users are concerned, they will be able to vote things like price spikes in the event of a disaster into the bin. For drivers around the world, Web3 ride-hailing means getting paid fairly without the intermediaries of third-party companies.
Web3 also enables a new sharing economy in which anyone, anywhere can own a ride-hailing app or any other type of vehicle-centric Vehicles used by the application – a real-world vehicle pool of tokens representing ownership. The communities in which these vehicles are located have the potential to have ownership of these vehicles, giving them the ability to vote on how they are used, and providing them with a source of income. The more goods and services these increasingly intelligent machines provide the community, the more the community will earn. Web3 is changing the status quo.
The transition of consumer applications to Web3 will address the root cause of persistent breaches, eliminating the need for a centralized data honeypot without having to complicate things for users. While this is a huge paradigm shift in itself, data sovereignty is only one of the advantages of Web3 Uber over Web2 Uber.
In the future, the blockchain will be as invisible as the inner workings of the blockchain Google Pay – Fully accessible for those who wish to view it. It’s going to be something users unknowingly interact with when ordering pizza or calling a car — but absolutely essential for a fairer, more democratic society in the digital age.
Maxtech is the co-founder of peaq, a blockchain network powering the Internet of Things on Polkadot.
This article is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be and should not be considered legal or investment advice. The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.