Home / Data Owner Guide

The Lens decentralized application is a new journey for you to establish and register ownership of your single source of truth and control access.  Over your lifetime, your personal information can be collected and aggregated in your new storage container and you maintain ownership and control by granting subscriptions (a Lens) to access the information under your terms and conditions. You never have to give away your data, instead you share or sell a Lens.

The journey starts with simple contact and profile information as the basis for your single source of truth.  When you want to share your contact information or business card with someone, you can create and share a private “contact” Lens for them to access your profile.  You can also decide what specific information they can access.

Technically, when you share a private Lens, the decentralized application generates a QR code that the recipient can scan with their mobile camera.  This will create a vCard with your name and the Lens URL which permits them a subscription to access to your specified contact data. They can then save the vCard to their Contact App.  The basic idea is that they didn’t get your contact data, they got a subscription to access your data in your single source of truth.

You now know who has access to what information by viewing the list of shared Lenses. If you need to change your profile and/or contact information, you only have to change it in one place - your single source of truth.  When you make the change, everyone who you shared a Lens with will automatically observe the change.

You can also change or revoke access to anyone you have shared a Lens with. You are the owner of your data and you now control the access. All this is done with no platforms that harvest or collect your data or metadata.  All communication is peer-to-peer, secure and private by default.

These are the simple building blocks for taking back control and putting your data to work for you.  

Here are the steps to establish and register your single source of truth:

  1. Register Ownership - Your Single Source of Truth - Go to app.mylens.io and tap “Register with Lens”.  This will take you to a Blockstack sign up process where you will generate your Blockstack ID, your private keys and your private storage container.  No one but you has access to data you store under this ID.
  2. Verify your Identity - We need to make sure you are who you say you are so that we can register you on our ledger as the owner of your data (single source of truth).  Currently we do this using verification of your phone number and email address. In the future we will use a more established process of passport and driver’s license.  The ledger is a directory, a whitepages where others can find you and request access to your single source of truth.
  3. Public Lens - The Public Lens is information that you would want to make available to the world - your public profile.  It can be publicly indexed by search engines, including ours. In the current version your public lens lists your first, middle and last name only.  Click, Share Public Lens, to register your ownership on the ledger and global directory. Others can use this listing to directly request your Lens.  
  4. Private (Default) LENS -  The private lens is a template which defines the information you want to share privately with others.  Toggle the information you want included and then tap “Create Default”.
    In future versions, you will be able to toggle specific datasets for each individual.  Currently the private Lens is the only template you can share with others and the attributes are set globally.  
  5. Sharing a Private Lens:  Using the toolbar (located at the bottom), tap on Shared Lenses, then tap “Share Lens”.  In the dialog box, type who you are sharing a Lens with. This is a label for the new Lens.  The dapp also asks collects date/time and location where the Lens was created and attaches it the Lens for your future reference.  
    Tap “Share Lens” and the dapp will generate the specific QR code.  Have the recipient scan the code with their mobile camera and then save the contact card in their Contact App.
    Note:  we currently also include your mobile number in the QR code.  This is done for caller id and ease of use while we work on native communication features.
    You can request another data owner’s private Lens from the Directory.  Tap on their Public Lens in the directory and then tap Request Lens. This will send them a notification request.  Once they accept, the private Lens will show up in your Directory listing.
  6. Profile - This is a view of your current single source of truth.  Some information has a green checkmark next to it which indicates that it has been independently verified.  This is a very important feature to create trust in the future data marketplace where enterprises will want to purchase a subscription to your information.  
    You can add/change or remove any information in your single source of truth.  Everyone who you have shared a Lens will automatically be updated.
  7. Directory -  The directory is a global ledger of all individual data owners who have been verified and registered through Lens.  From the directory you can view anyone’s public Lens and if you are logged into your Blockstack ID, you can request their private Lens.  
    Next to the search box, there are two icons for public and private lenses.  If you want to view only the private Lenses that have been shared with you, you can tap off the public Lens.
    We have huge plans for the Directory!  Through your public Lens, you will be able to share any information you want and have it be indexed and made searchable.  Use cases could include your resume, C.V. or that you have a bike for sale and the cost.
    The core value here is that the data and interactions are under your control and ownership. They don’t take place on any centralized platform.   You become the business for your personal data!
  8. Support (?) - From any screen you can tap the “?” to access the support page.  From here you can sign out of your Lens instance, review support messages, contact support or delete your profile which will remove you from the ledger and delete your single source of truth.  This operation cannot be undone once you confirm “delete profile”.