We at Reclaim believe it is important for people to have control over their online data. New laws such as GDPR and CCPA are creating opportunity for individuals across the EU and in California to reclaim access and control of their personal data. Large corporations are harvesting people's data and selling it—without your consent—for hundreds of billions of dollars each year. 2020 is the year we’ll see the dynamic of data ownership begin to change.
What it does
Reclaim allows you to regain control of your data from online services and data brokers. Download, opt-out, and delete your data across the web with one private, secure, and user-driven tool. With Reclaim, you can keep track of where your data can be found and where you’ve chosen to download, opt-out, and delete.
How we built it
We used Blockstack, Vuesion, Firebase, and Twilio as our core building blocks to complete this project. In order to facilitate a Data Subject Access Request through GDPR or CCPA, the user has to be verified as who they say they are. This is why Twilio is fundamental to our application. We built Reclaim to be private by design. Blockstack-enabled encryption and decentralization along with user verification through Twilio Verify ensure that only you have access to your Reclaim account. Reclaim cannot access any of your data besides your Blockstack ID.
Challenges we ran into
Mapping everywhere your data is being bought and sold, as well as the download, opt-out, and deletion processes to end the cycle of data exploitation proved arduous. Most companies hide the location of where to opt-out, download, or delete your data—something CCPA should remedy—and many don't even provide means to easily access and control your data.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We've consolidated months of research into a tool that is easy to understand, use, and grant people the means to exercise their rights and reclaim control of their digital self - all at no cost to the user. At Reclaim we believe that you—and everyone else—should have access to a free tool to exercise control of your own data. Reclaim keeps operating cost low with a light infrastructure based on Blockstack, though in the future Reclaim will offer paid subscriptions to more automatic services.
What we learned
There are tools and resources to make it accessible for anyone to develop applications that can’t be evil by design. There is a strong, passionate, enthusiastic ecosystem built around Blockstack and the movement toward decentralization. And now, it’s more important than ever that people have access to decentralized tools that let you control and benefit from your own data.
What's next for Reclaim
Soon you'll be able to drag and drop the data you download from any service into your Gaia storage. The data companies provide back to you is typically not very easy to read or make sense of. We are creating a personalized dashboard that allows you visualize all of the data that each company holds about you.
Reclaim's do-it-yourself tool is free now, but we will be offering a paid, white glove service, where, on your behalf, we download and/or delete your data from a large number of services as well as remove your information from over 100 data broker's databases.