Mistrust defines 2020 more than ever: socially, politically, economically — and the ethical use of information about our interests and preferences also plays a central role in the future of consumer trust.

Privacy of this information was already an international conversation, well before we faced a global pandemic that has changed how we live and act as consumers. Even more of our activities are shifting online where data is more vulnerable. Further, as some companies fail, competition decreases and the data about us will be further consolidated and monetized.

Data brokerage is now a 200 billion dollar industry. Consumers and lawmakers, increasingly aware of both the value of our data, and also, how it is being used to target us for profit, have begun to demand changes. This year, California enacted their Consumer Privacy Act, and 17 other states have similar measures under legislative review, with more coming.

Privacy not only means that others can’t see and use our personal data — It also means that we can.

Among our most basic data privacy rights are the rights to access and use our own information, and to prevent it from being sold or shared with others.

Welcome to the trust-based economy:

As consumers, we drive well over ⅓ of the economy. So if we have the right tools, we can be in the driver’s seat. The companies who lose our trust will lose our business to more trusted competitors — But those that earn our trust will be magnets for our attention, our loyalty and our wallets.

As we seek more trusted relationships with the companies we interact with, how we spend our money is our most powerful lever — and it’s also the most valuable data about us. That’s why, gaining control of our own purchase data is the overlooked first domino that will begin to shift the power of our data to ourselves, and empower us to usher in the trust-based economy.

Today there’s no one place to even see our item-level purchases, across all our retailers online and off.

What if, whenever we make purchases, companies can no longer share our purchase information with 3rd party data brokers or marketers, and instead, always redirect that information directly and securely to us?

By gaining privacy and possession of our own data, a new trust-based marketplace can emerge. We can choose to give more of our business to trustworthy retailers, decide which ones can engage with us, anonymously based on our actual purchase needs, and on terms that we choose. In return, we will receive preferred pricing and personalized offers that we’ve intentionally invited. In this win-win model, consumers are in the driver’s seat.

Our wallets and our health — The benefits of item-level data

With access to our own item-level purchase information in one platform that only the consumer can unlock, we will be able to monitor and compare our spending on specific types of items, and identify opportunities to save. This isn’t possible today, since credit card statements and budgeting tools have no knowledge of what actual items we purchase. Further, with possession of our sku-level purchase information, health-related alerts about particular products and contents will also become possible.

Introducing Pyrl (/‘Pearl’/)

New laws will continue to bring safeguards for consumers. But until now, there’s been no platform that provides the technology and business model to return trust to the consumer/business relationship, by giving us the privacy and use of our most valuable data — how we spend our money.

We invite you to join our limited Beta today at Pyrl.io, and be a part of building the trust-based economy!