American Telecom company, AT&T, recently made a patent for “Blockchain – Based Social Media History Maps,” assisting in “mapping” the social media history. On December 13, the company had applied for the patent to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
The patent, as described by AT&T is a blockchain-powered system that includes a “transaction history controller,” to store subscribers’ data, which can be applied to various applications.
The patent contains information about the applications, which comprises of creating and sharing pieces of information, ideas, and career interests via virtual communities and networks.
Both the company and its subscribers get their benefits from the system. In case, users’ tweets or posts are censored, the subscribers can benefit from the blockchain-enabled map by ensuring their posts remain with them on their history.
The system allows users to check ongoing trends at a particular time or place. The patent states that it may add enormous value to “e-commerce, marketing, and targeted advertising.”
The abstract of the patent reads:
“A system may include a transaction history controller to store, in a distributed blockchain database, a first chain including a primary head node for a first subscriber to a social media history map service and multiple blocks each representing an online transaction for the first subscriber, and a second chain including a follower head node, linked to the primary head node, for a second subscriber and multiple blocks each representing an online transaction for the second subscriber.”
The patent also stated that the controller of the history might receive data of the first online transaction for the second subscriber; then format and store the formatted data as a new block in the second chain. The subscribers then receive a request to access trend report for first and second subscribers; the trend reports are then generated relying on the first and second chains of blocks.
In November 2018, USPTO awarded printing and digital copying equipment manufacturer, Xerox a patent for blockchain-powered auditing tool for electronic files. Xerox’s technology can help in detecting if a file has been altered and tracks the history of changes. The system becomes immune to tampering as it works on decentralized verification mechanism.
As services like these are being developed, there have been questions raised about the safety, as the patent mentions that users shopping behavior can be tracked and recorded on the blockchain platform.
The major concern here is if the data reaches to the marketers, which will allow them to let loose a personalized targeted marketing campaign, with the users custom-made for them.