There’s big money in sharing your data. This is probably all greek to my parent’s generation—the idea that we should be able to control and monetize our data—but it’s not that much of a stretch to consider a world where we can theoretically charge large corporations for the right to license the use of our data. We’re not there yet. There are significant social and technological hurdles to overcome before we can get to the point where we have economic and power parity with the big tech companies engaging in widespread identity theft and using our data against us, but there are some companies busy making strides.

Like Freckle (FRKL.V), which recently expanded their consumer-led privacy application Killi to New Zealand, bringing it to its fifth international market and a market range of over 400 million people.

Freckle is a global data company that specializes in media measurement and identity. They measure engagement and effectiveness of media across all channels, with the focus being driving customer traffic to designation online locations.

Killi, Freckle’s consumer identity mobile application, lets consumers reclaim control of their digital identity from those who have been using it without their consent. Consumers can choose specific pieces of personal information that they would like to share with companies, as well as answer surveys and be compensated for their answers.

“New Zealand was a natural addition to our distribution plan given its proximity to our Australian and Singapore markets.  Adding to our U.S. and Canadian footprints, Killi’s total addressable market is now over 400 million people—approximately 5% of the global population—with three further geographical expansions planned for the next quarter and additional countries to be added throughout the rest of 2020,” said Neil Sweeney, Freckle’s CEO.

For the sake of definitions and confusion, your digital identity theft is not the same as identity theft. Identity theft is when someone steals your vital information—your social insurance/social security number, your passport, etc. But digital identity theft involves a mix of characteristics such as your name, age, gender and academic, cultural and social levels, including your tastes and preferences. We can also add extra pieces of information, this time perhaps more vital, such as your e-mail ID, credit card, debit and bank account numbers.

These commonly disappear as a result of agreeing to accept cookies, which are computer files exchanged and stored in your browser, from websites you visit. These files are often innocuous, filtering information back to the web developer about your activities on the website. But sometimes they’re not, and the information filtered back doesn’t just go to the web developer, but to third party companies at best, and malicious actors at worst, which would take advantage of your information.

That’s why applications like Killi make sense.

“We aspire to be the global leader in consumer privacy, making it imperative that we continue to expand Killi to additional markets. We also believe that certain industry catalysts will hasten Killi’s adoption. In particular, with recent changes to privacy and cookie depreciation within Google’s Chrome browser, the need for ‘consented data not dependent on the cookie’ – from email, for example – is growing in demand.  Killi sits at the intersection of these two macro trends and is focused on scaling its products both geographically and via new revenue modules to capitalize upon this global opportunity,” said Sweeney.

Freckle also helps brands and platforms measure the advertising effectiveness by matching media spend to in-store visitation while remaining media agnostic. Freckle’s technology is used by Fortune 500 brands like McDonalds, Lexus, Walmart, Verizon and AT&T, and is considered to be a core component of demand-side platforms and data management platforms across the world.

—Joseph Morton

Written By:

Joseph Morton

Joseph is a Vancouver-based author and journalist with both a communications degree and journalism diploma (and a few novels) under his belt. His joie de vivre is to spin difficult technical topics into more human-centric narratives. Buy him a coffee and he'll talk your ear off for hours about privacy issues, blockchain, cryptocurrency and martial arts. Don't talk to him if you're either a tomato, a bully, or if you're not a fan of either 1984 or Tender is the Night. No. You can still talk to him. Just be prepared to be told why you're wrong.

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