Question

Are there any potential downsides of Web 3.0? If so, what are they?

Answer
By Claudio Buttice | Last updated: May 28, 2019

One of the biggest downsides of the introduction of Web 3.0 is the extreme vulnerability of integrated data. Since only one account will contain all your personal data and sensitive information, once a malicious entity such as a cybercriminal hacks it, he or she can potentially control your entire life. It’s like a single door (or a single password) allows access to everything you own, from your Facebook account to your email, PayPal, bank account and even your smart home technologies. Regardless of how robust this “door” may be, once it’s opened, your entire life may be at stake.

In a world where everything is interconnected, use and management of personal data will become an even more delicate matter, and much more solid privacy policies must be enforced. Liability must be addressed, since it will be harder to define who owns the data, and who will be liable if a breach of some kind occurs (especially since the consequences would be even direr, as explained above). For example, right now there are countless types of different business entities, so establishing a robust system to determine individual responsibilities (and business identities) must be established.

On the other hand, the whole issue of digital identity in Web 3.0 is probably much more complicated than this. The protection of individual safety and security can end up justifying immoral or invasive practices. Less scrupulous governments may use their power to collect citizens’ data with the excuse of preventing crime or determining proof of identity, and then use it for nefarious purposes. It’s easy to understand how a government owning every citizen’s identity may cause society to progressively degenerate into an Orwellian dystopia.

And while a strict control on all content published may look like an ominous scenario, the generalized deregulation that already characterizes Web 2.0 is not devoid of issues, either. Cyber espionage, fake news and information manipulation has exposed many countries to the danger of becoming “digital colonies” of large corporations or other countries, and that it’s going to become even worse with Web 3.0. Many highly industrialized countries have already started to make their moves against digital giants to protect their digital sovereignty, but it’s easy to understand how easily the situation may get out of hand.

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Written by Claudio Buttice | Data Analyst, Contributor

Profile Picture of Claudio Buttice

Dr. Claudio Butticè, Pharm.D., is a former clinical and hospital pharmacist who worked for several public hospitals in Italy, as well as for the humanitarian NGO Emergency. He is now an accomplished book author who has written on topics such as medicine, technology, world poverty, human rights, and science for publishers such as SAGE Publishing, ABC-Clio, and Mission Bell Media. His latest book is "Universal Health Care" (Greenwood Publishing, 2019).

A data analyst and freelance journalist as well, many of his articles have been published in magazines such as Cracked, The Elephant, Digital Journal, The Ring of Fire, and Business Insider. Dr. Butticè also published pharmacology and psychology papers on several clinical journals, and works as a medical consultant and advisor for many companies across the globe.

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