Image credit: @majes.tytyty
There was, as it would be expected, wild jubilation in the EOS community when Block.one, the company which developed the EOS blockchain, announced in June 2019 that it would be launching its own social network, Voice. The aim of Voice was simple - to put back social media content control into the hands of the people.
The ovation surrounding Voice was so loud that the price of EOS spiked in the build up to the announcement before it slumped again shortly afterwards. In the euphoria of the hype, Voice was even described in some quarters as the Steemit-killer, just like most social media projects before it. Interestingly, Voice was taken seriously because Dan Latimer, a co-founder of Steemit and CTO at Block.one, was involved in the project.
Anyways, on February 14th 2020, perhaps in the spirit of Valentine, the beta version of Voice was launched and only opened, at least for a start, for only the residents of the United States. Although such a US-centric move appears displeasing for several potential users in other parts of the world, the privacy concerns emanating from the registration process is even more worrisome.
One begins to wonder why a platform that claims to be a decentralized alternative to Facebook and even Twitter, would ask users to supply personal details such as full names, telephone number, home address, government issued ID card, and a passport photograph. The procedure for the latter appears too rigid, formal, and complicated - more or less like a camel going through the eye of a needle.
Most shockingly, the information collected from the user, according to the legal disclaimer on the website of Voice, are not stored on the Voice blockchain. Instead, a UK based firm known as HooYu will be responsible for storing and verifying the authenticity of the uploaded information on the website. As if this is not enough, HooYu retains the legal right to share the information collected with third parties, including law enforcement officers and debt recovery units.
Following the complacent roles of Facebook in the Cambridge Analytical scandal and the global shockwaves it sent to the world regarding privacy violation and data mining, one has sufficient evidence to predict that Voice will be a case of dead on arrival if the registration process remains the same by the time it goes to the masses. This writer believes that most people will refuse to sacrifice their liberty on the altar of earning Voice or EOS tokens.
Steemit, which Voice seeks to displace, may not be the best decentralzed social media in the world but for four solid years now it has continued to allay the fears of privacy violation. If Voice must see the sunrise of success, it must not allow itself to be dimmed by clouds of privacy violations. If not, it is already dead on arrival.
Until I come your way again, I wish you a full Steem ahead.