UBDI (short for Universal Basic Data Income) is a company that aims to create a more sustainable and fair model for data sharing. It was founded in 2018 by Dana Budzyn, Shane Green, and Mark Kilaghbian.
UBDI’s mission is to transform the current exploitative data economy into a sustainable, fair model for the future by allowing individuals to earn thousands of dollars a year from their data while protecting & preserving member data & privacy.
How it Works
UBDI helps people make money by anonymously and securely sharing insights from their data with paying companies looking to ethically-source information for market research, one of many data-driven industries reeling from consumer/regulatory concerns around privacy and the exploitation of data.
UBDI is the monetization layer built on-top of digi.me, a private sharing application that allows users to import data from 1000’s of sources (Facebook, Fitbit, Spotify, etc) into their secure, encrypted, and decentralized data vault that only they can access. After users link a variety of applications, they can privately review and choose what data they share with different apps, like UBDI.
In UBDI, users choose from different market research studies and review the consent page, which states what anonymous insight is being shared, with whom, for what purpose, and more. Insights don’t look at individuals personally, but at trends surrounding things like purchases, entertainment preferences, social media buzz, health, and fitness. When users opt into a study, UBDI runs app to app analytics on-device ensuring only aggregated, anonymized information from members is extracted.
Participants of the study are then paid in cash and points to track their contributions to the network. UBDI believes in using digital currency at a future date and plans to solve how to convert these points into tokens in compliance with all tax and regulatory requirements.
UBDI is often compared to projects by Datawallet and Brave browser, companies hoping to monetize either user attention or data to avoid the traditional advertising models.
While UBDI does not store user data on the blockchain, it does partially reward users in points, which may be transferable into UBDI tokens when the blockchain is launched. UBDI tokens give users access to a wide variety of crypto-assets and investments for simple data contributions while giving them a voice in community decisions through a voting protocol. Before points can be converted into tokens, users will be given the option to liquidate their holdings by converting them into gift cards and other offers in the UBDI store.
UBDI also launched UBDI Apps, so that developers could start to build apps that respect ownership and control of user data. To encourage developer participation, UBDI is creating API’s to allow profit-sharing of data sales between the users contributing data and the developers creating the platforms or apps which utilize it. This model would create a departure from the current ad-based monetization models that encourage developers to either integrate ads into their products, charge for their use, or sell user data to ad-targeting conglomerates.
UBDI is built through a partnership with Digi.me a European privacy leader and award winning platform which allows users to aggregate personal data from thousands of sources into the encrypted personal cloud of their choosing. Digi.me is known for their privacy by design architecture as they do not see, touch, or hold user data putting users in 100% control of their data at all times and the ability to share specific data with apps when and how they choose.
The UBDI consumer app is currently in beta and available on both Android and iOS platforms. Their business-facing research portal will be available as a web application, and is in the final phases of development. UBDI expects to begin live studies with its first paid users in Q2 2019. UBDI expects to begin API integrations with other apps sometime in Q3 2019.
UBDI and its founders have been featured in prominent articles, publications and media discussing the efficacy of user-controlled data. Some of these outlets include Adweek, CNN,[+] MarketWatch, Business Insider , Daily Mail, USA Today, and TEDx.[+] Dana Budzyn was also featured on the Cryptoconomy Podcast.