Our goal is to help over a billion people live happier, healthier and longer lives. We develop privacy-first digital health tools in order to help people on their health journey.
To accomplish this lofty goal — we figured the fastest way to have a positive impact on a billion people is to Open Source our work.
Today we are embarking on the start of this Open Source ethos with the launch of our privacy-first CLAM: Consent and Content Access Management Library.
First lets bathe in the “privacy-first” buzzword and then dive into the details of CLAM.
Why “Privacy-First” Matters?
Every time you install an application or use a digital service you are forced to hand over email or phone number in order to create an account.
Giving companies your personal details is essentially like handing over your identity documents every time you enter a retail store even if you are only window shopping.
Now imagine you have to hand over your Apple Healthkit or Google Fit data every time you want to try on a pair of jeans at the retail store. Sounds preposterous? It is … and without self-sovereign data ownership we are heading this way.
Enter Web3 to Empower You
In Web 1: You could see an online phone book. There were online banner ads based on what you were looking at.
In Web 2: You could chat with your friends and share photos. Your data was used against you to target ads to you. You didn’t own any of your data, it became owned by big tech (Google, Facebook, etc.)
In Web 3: You own your data. Your data is encrypted by private keys and only you have control over it — self-sovereign data ownership.
By using blockchain-based authentication systems such as Metamask, people are now able to digitally sign and authenticate themselves to different applications and ecosystems.
Metamask has over 30 million users using their wallet
Now using Web3 wallets such as Metamask these same private/public keys could be used to encrypt data packed which are then hosted on Interplanetary File System (IPFS). IPFS is a peer-2-peer network for storage (we will have separate post explaining how this works).
Now you don’t need an email or phone number to share your data.
For health data, we believe this is an elegant design. Now you can keep the data totally private (using PGP encryption) for only yourself to see. For example, you could keep your entire genome stored privately or using a Smart Contract (read more here) you could share it with your medical doctor.
Long story short, this is a fairly complex architecture to set up. Today we are publishing this library in order to enable developers (from all industries) to focus on their solutions and not have to reinvent the wheel when building for privacy-first.
Thanks for making it this far in the article. We realize privacy is not the sexiest topic in the world. However we feel it is very much like thinking about your blinds/curtains at home … they become essential if a stranger is peeking at you from across your dinner table. Use your digital blinds wisely, especially when building digital health products!
If you get stuck along the way or have any questions feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you like privacy give us a clap!