107 Iowa L. Rev. 319 (2021)
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For better or for worse, social media is prevalent in our technological internet-connected world. While social media users consume the services the platforms offer, the platforms in turn consume and share personal information of the user. Based on the current model, social media platforms have been scrutinized over their invasion of user privacy, particularly over what information they gather from the user and how they share that information with third parties. In a way, users have agreed to this treatment of their data, but there is arguably a line to draw. Unfortunately for users, the legal protections and remedies are unfulfilling. This piece raises the issue on how users can continue to participate in social functions online while maintaining their privacy. Self-sovereign identity—the theoretical model of providing a person with autonomous control over their information—coupled with blockchain or a distributed ledger, a technical solution with mechanisms to control how information is permissively shared, provides an opportunity to strike that balance. This solution provides users with more control over their information and may simplify legal analysis in future privacy violations. In addition, the technical solution provides tangential benefits to enhance security for the data, increase transparency over how information is shared, and ease identification of breaches.

Monday, November 15, 2021