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Note: This is a blog series about “The Pipeline”, you can read more about it here.

We are becoming ever more aware that personal data is now as valuable as (if not more than) money. Corporations want our purchases, politicians want our votes, and nonprofits want our donations. Attempting to get everyone in the world to join your cause or buy your product is expensive, inefficent, and ineffective. Having data on who is likely to convert, the issues they care about, or how much money they have is crucial to effective outreach.

Unfortunately, we have witnessed our personal data being weaponized against us. We wind up with subscriptions for things we don’t need every month, with interference in elections, and giving to one worthy cause while neglecting others. We feel helpless in this world where our personal data sloshes around from server to server. We’ve already agreed to the situation through a license we didn’t read because we don’t have the time or the law degree necessary to fully understand it.

Legislation like GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act are essential to stemming the tide of personal data being sold without our permission. But it still feels like we should still have more agency.

Fortunately, The Pipeline makes it possible to share your personal data more reasonably. You enter your personal data into an account you control. For each organization you are in contact with, you can designate specific pieces of data as always allowed, allowed with specific permission, or never allowed. For instance, you may be willing to share your name and address with a company you’re buying shipped goods from, but you may just want to share your name and postal code with a political party.

When your personal information is requested, the organization requesting it is presented with a license of your choosing. The license outlines how they may or may not use your data. The information sent from your account is standardized, which means no more complicated web forms for you to fill or for software engineers to create.

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Joe LeBlanc


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