Posted 10 months ago | by Ben Armstrong

Data Regulation is Broken – Blockchain can Help

The European General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) were introduced back on May 25 of 2018, bringing with them some of the strictest rules enforced by a government up to this moment.

This set of rules provides user’s with control over which data can be recollected, as well as the option to modify it or request its deletion.

The government of California has also established is own set of rules: California’s Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). This act was signed on June 28 of 2018 and provides users with similar rights to those of GDPR but is limited to California’s residents.

Both regulations focus on regulating the behavior of the platform’s owner and how they need to act to protect user’s data and how they need to respond to its user’s requests but leave an important aspect of privacy aside: how it is being created.

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Controlling Our Digital Fingerprints

Personable Identifiable Information (PII) is being left everywhere in the digital world by users who register and use online platforms regularly. Email address, phone number, addresses, date of birth, and other data is being requested upon the use of online services and can be used to identify its owner.

Several security breaches have taken place in the past to big companies such as Equifax, eBay, and Sony, leaking an incredible amount of personal information from hundreds of thousands of users to hackers and any party interested in purchasing these “dumps”.

A recent report shows that 97% of the organizations surveyed are planning an increase in the budget destined for data security in the next year.

This might surprise some people in the case of companies that are not under regulations such as GDPR as it shows a level of risk-awareness without the need for any third party’s involvement.

Blockchain and Identity Platforms

The Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF) recently announced the release of Microsoft's Identity Overlay Network (ION), a blockchain-based identity platform that would help improve data privacy on the internet.

In Microsoft’s words: “We believe every person needs a decentralized, digital identity they own and control, backed by self-owned identifiers that enable secure, privacy-preserving interactions.”.

The most important characteristic of this network is the inclusion of a reference number instead of including all the transaction information, which can be used to retrieve the necessary information from the ION nodes. This is a simple approach that will greatly increase the effectiveness of the network.

With giants like Microsoft and IBM joining the race to create a secure identity platform backed by blockchain, it is a perfect time to think about data privacy backed by blockchain. Such a platform is fundamental to address the way data is being created and controlled by its users in a direct manner without the need for governments to regulate and enforce as a third-party.

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