Verifiable Consents with Blockchain Technology

Should You Read Consent Forms?

Imagine you are terminally ill and only have six months to live. Your doctor offers to perform experimental surgical operation on you with an undocumented chance of success and unknown consequences. You decide to take the chance and go ahead with the operation. Your doctor then gives you a five-page long consent form that contains all medical procedures, legal consequences and a tiny box asking for your signature. Will you read it?

Everyone in their right minds will definitely read every single character in such a consent form, right? However, when it comes to privacy policies on the websites, we are ignoring consent forms and signing them carelessly on a regular basis. A study found that only 34% of the internet users always read privacy policies before giving their consents whereas 25% never read them at all.

Problems with Digital Consent

Unfortunately, there is currently no standard practice for digital consents. As a result, some firms abuse their consent forms by writing 20,000 words privacy notices that mostly no one read. They also assume that, by ticking one box, you effectively agree to give them all your personal information including your GPS location, browsing history, bank account number and much more. Moreover, once consent is given, it is often difficult to withdraw our consent and track where our data go.

Traditionally, two parties sign a consent form and come to an agreement. This is not at all the case with digital consents where the power is overwhelmingly in big corporates’ favours. Our society, hence, needs a new consent model that gives customers more control over their own data.

Consent Receipt

To restore the power balance of digital consent, users should be able to revisit all of the digital consent that they have agreed to and withdraw any consent at any time. Such a model can be achieved with digital consent receipts.

With this new model, you will be given a consent receipt every time you digitally sign a consent form. The receipt contains the summary of the agreement such as (i) what data are collected, (ii) who collect and analyze the data, (iii) what they do with the data, (iv) where the data are kept, (v) why do they want the data and (vi) with which third parties do they share the data. Most importantly, a consent receipt must give the receipt’s holder the right to withdraw the consent any time she wishes.

Finema Consent Wallet

Similar to Finema identity wallet, we provide a consent wallet that keeps and manages verifiable consent receipts, which are immutably and securely recorded on Finema blockchain. With a few tabs of your finger, you will be able to see a full history of your digital consent. If you change your mind about a particular agreement and no longer wish to share your data, you can easily withdraw your it through our wallet, and we will do the hard work for you.

At Finema, we believe handling digital consent should be seamless. By providing a simpler way to manage consent, we aim to empower our customers and bring power balance back to individuals.

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