JLINC launches an open consent-managing protocol
Under this approach, a user manages permissions to personal data via Information Sharing Agreements with vendors.
There’s a lot of consent being given these days, and there are a lot of solutions to manage that consent.
A new open protocol called JLINC offers another choice. Developed over the last three years, the protocol was launched May 25, the day that the consent-requiring General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect. A beta version of the platform is scheduled for launch later this year.
The basic idea is that users set up and manage their permissions under agreements with vendors called Information Sharing Agreements (ISAs), which define how the user’s personal data can be used. The ISAs, which live in a JLINC cloud, contain a permissions profile that’s either applied to all vendors or specific to each vendor.
Michael Leifer, JLINC Labs Chief Strategy Officer, described JLINC to me as a “digital notary service,” and he contrasted it to the way vendors store and manage users’ permission profiles in their own solutions. In a blog post, he wrote:
… every last one of these so-called solutions were designed from the vantage point of the company — and how it would benefit them — and not from the perspective of the individual, making an easy way for the individual to manage their data permissions across all brands and systems.
In the current field, there are an [enormous] number of siloed solutions offered by tech companies that brands have spent billions upon. For every one of those, the companies are collectively putting the heavy lifting on the individual, imposing upon each person to invest a valuable amount of time to register with each of their systems. AND, if the individual wants to see the cumulative information they have granted access to, across all of those separate systems, they have to download their information from each brand’s database and compare that information in some way on their own. Yeah. Like THAT’s going to happen.
But JLINC also seems to require a lot of user effort. You manage your preferences via a website or a mobile app, which are both in the works, plus receipts and new ISAs are issued every time you make a change.
The receipts can be tracked on a ledger, such as one provided by a blockchain solution. Consumers can also invite vendors to send them ISAs via the web or mobile app.
In the current implementation, CEO Jim Fournier told me, “our first use case is for vendors that you have a relationship with.”
In other words, you interact with a JLINC-compatible vendor via an email or an SMS message, or if you log onto your account on the vendor’s website. The vendor will have your ISA preferences in your account, and your email address or SMS number were most likely in your signup. If you change your preferences, JLINC pushes the changes to the vendor’s customer relationships management (CRM) system.
JLINC is not currently intended for unlogged visits to websites or for managing personal data relating to targeted ads, he said. Those use cases, Fournier said, will be addressed in a later version.
Currently, there is a JLINC Contacts app in the Salesforce AppExchange, which lets customers directly update the personal information that might appear in a compatible vendor’s CRM. The UK-based charity, TechTrust.org., will be selling an integration with several email service platforms, including MailChimp and Vertical Response.