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Data Privacy

Controversies between players, teams and leagues over data privacy are inevitable.

Players want to keep their biometric data private. Teams will want to share the biometrics to engineer trades. Leagues will want to sell the data as streams, either to apps that visualize the data to enhance storytelling or to fantasy players who want a leg up on their competition. (“Don’t play Johnson today—his hematocrit ratio is low.”)

Expect class-action lawsuits, likely from players or from media. Much like MLB’s legal battles a decade ago with fantasy sites over statistical data, courts will be asked to rule on whether specialized data is “historical news,” and therefore can’t be owned. Courts will also decide whether players have rights to the data measuring their performance, even if it’s collected and held by the teams. Likely, biometric/health data will be viewed differently by the courts than performance data.

Contracts today include performance bonuses and body-weight clauses. The contracts of the future will contain speed and strength standards to maintain—and biometric marker levels to meet. Just as today’s players hire private trainers, professional athletes of the future will hire their own experts not only to acquire health and performance data, but also to analyze those metrics.

Everyone involved will worry whether the data has been tampered with. How do we know a statistician hasn’t altered the numbers to make a player more attractive?

The answer lies in blockchain technology like Tierion, which can:

  • Guarantee that data is timestamped and unaltered.
  • Require passcodes to view the data.
  • Track data wherever it goes on the internet, making sure the rights holders are paid.
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