Whether your system is centralised, decentralised, distributed, digital or not, consent is still relevant. Just because someone might have the ability to ‘revoke’ the connection to their data doesn’t mean consent to use the data is irrelevant. And even more important than consent is awareness. And still even more important than awareness is trust.
Consent is built on the concept of equals. However, in digital interactions the parties are never equals. Awareness is an attempt to at least be transparent about what you are going to use the data for. And no, even if we tell people that we are going to track their movements, it doesn’t automatically mean people refuse. But awareness has intimate links with trust. It helps build trust, but it also tends to require trust.
And so we come back to values and consistency of behaviour. If you say one thing and do another often, people tend not to trust you no matter what line of work or relationship you are in.
The choice is up to us.