Blockchain is a newer technology that mystifies many and because of that, many people do not realize the power blockchain offers to businesses. To break down this emerging technology, we asked Adrian Rubin to write a guest post for us.
The blockchain system is a cloud application that has become part of the technology world discussion. With Europe passing the new GDPR Law for data protection purposes, many are wondering if blockchains have a loophole or will the cloud-based application be the answer for enforced data protection. Here is what you need to know about blockchain and data protection.
Understanding the Blockchain Application
Blockchain is a digital data application that is made up of called “blocks”. The blocks are linked together in chronological order, which makes encrypting the data harder to alter after the information has been recorded. Each block on a network contains a digital copy of the “ledger” created from the block known as the Genesis Block. Each block is a link to the previous block and contains a timestamp of the transaction data. This link and encryption method was designed to be an electronic database to prevent security breaches.
The initial idea of blockchain was designed as a digital branch of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. The concept was for blockchains to eliminate the Double Spending occurrence in distributed systems. So, blockchain-based databases were set to be deployed in several application scenarios to be an advantage for a distributed network. This advantage may propose trades for music files, digital land registers, and commercial registers. The UK has researched this topic very thoroughly.
The downside of cloud apps is the uncertainty of personal data being written on the blockchain. There are situations where a generic blockchain will be used for personal medical data within a health facility and register several different documents and transactions with non-personal data and personal data of patients. Social networking is another that uses generic blockchain and it can host thousands of data uploaded by social media users. Because of the data and configurations of generic blockchains, the shift in gears to ensure data protection sparked the European GDPR. This permits companies to legally use and process data without being subject to specific data protection restrictions.
Blockchain a solution for data protection
Data protection is a growing concern as many digital forms online are taking our information or being sold on the black market. For data protection, blockchain systems are intriguing because it allows a “pipeline” for transactions to interchanged between parties without presenting identities in private or to the public. Even if a transaction cannot access the identity of either party neither will be affected or their information published. As mentioned before Bitcoin is an “anonymous” way to provide and receive payment, but one problem with the Bitcoin system is enabling its user to present transactional data to the public, although, tamper-proof. This is where blockchains were introduced because there is no personal information is shared no matter the public transactions.
With the possible weak points in transaction databases, data protection can be an attack point. It can be avoided with the Blockchain technical design and give companies the ability to utilize a digital data protection system, which is in compliance with Article 25 GDPR. Blockchain databases hope to implement the basic privacy principles of transparency, privacy by default, effectiveness and data protection. Although data protection measures with Blockchains have taken effect, many companies must meet their obligations under Article 25 GDPR. This means that there are still concept designs that need to be researched.
Blockchain will be a revolutionary design for data protection and user privacy protection from breaching attacks and hacker threats. Blockchain becomes the end deciding factor of who can access what data, if possible. Smart contracts prevent the need for trusted centralized providers allowing data rights to be exclusively managed by the blockchain and other trusted hardware or the users. Thus, giving the user the ability to regain control and privacy of their data. It is still the research phase to convert the blockchain over to the new GDPR regulations.
Adrian Rubin is a Philadelphia based photography and writer. His humanitarian efforts allow him to engage with animal shelters around his hometown. He recently started the Adrian Rubin Foundation to help students financially with their high-education.