Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July 2018 by David Ebel at www.forbes.com
Evolving regulations in privacy and data security are pressuring companies to accommodate user demands for control over their personal information. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) represents the largest change to European Union (EU) data protection laws in decades, and requires companies that do business in the region to provide increased protections for EU users.
For the rest of the globe, the writing is on the wall: Companies must provide clarity and control over the personal information they take in so that individuals regain power over their own data. Until recently, large companies were scrambling to sort out the best technology and approach to achieve these goals – or risk steep fines for non-compliance. Blockchain technology, which has largely been a solution in search of a problem in the world of digital commerce, has entered as a serious contender for both short and long-term solutions to this important challenge.
Key to understanding GDPR is user rights to their stored data. For a company to comply with GDPR, they must provide their users with the ability to review their collected data, modify it, or request it’s removal. In the past, this type of access to specific user data was unavailable to the public, and the source of each piece of data may be in disparate systems that remain unconnected. Unifying the data, providing the appropriate means to receive, track, and fulfill user requests, and to update the data as requested represents a monumental task for enterprise architects to wrestle with in the face of looming deadlines and steep fines.
Beyond the immediate demands, there also lies a long term vision of how user data should be treated – giving true transparency and ownership to meet customer expectations beyond the specific EU regulations. It’s this combination of short term needs and long term vision that solutions like GDPR Edge are designed to address.
In May, BDO USA, LLP and IntraEdge- joined by Intel and Microsoft, announced their strategic collaboration on a blockchain-based platform for achieving GDPR compliance and more. [Truyo, formerly GDPR Edge] is billed as the world’s first enterprise-ready blockchain solution for operationalizing GDPR Compliance. The blockchain technology, using Hyperledger Sawtooth’s distributed ledger, not only gives companies a secure method for tracking collected data, but also provides their users with a portal where they may review the data, modify it, or request its removal.