How Will A Blockchain Be Used To Handle Personal Records Sharing?
Until recently, all computer data, or anything that could be stored in a computer, was treated equally. You transferred it from a floppy disc, a CD, a USB flash drive, or an external hard drive to your computer. The internet, which enabled you to send and receive files over a network, as well as cloud storage services, followed. Data was preserved in the same way regardless of how it was sent or received, and could thus be exchanged in any way.
Neither you nor anyone else may know if they were the only person keeping the same piece of data, the same text, picture, or film, or if two or ten thousand other copies were held elsewhere. You may have been concerned that if your computer crashed and you didn’t have a backup, you would lose all of your data. You couldn’t be sure if the file you were using was the most recent one if you worked as a team sharing one document, so you kept several revisions of the document in your folder just to be sure.
Anyone could then copy, send, and store computer files without anyone knowing where they came from, where they were stored, what the most recent version was, or whether there were several copies stored somewhere.
Then, in early 2009, an innovation ushered in a new age in the way data is registered, processed, and exchanged, and although it was initially dubbed “Bitcoin,” the two main branches of the technology became known as “Blockchain” and “Cryptocurrency.”
How do Blockchain technologies change the way data is recorded, shared, and stored?
Cryptography, the branch of knowledge concerned with hiding and encrypting data so that only the intended user knows what it is, has origins in military communications dating back thousands of years. Armies were able to keep their movements synchronized in the field by creating unique symbols to signify letters and words, as well as using smoke signals and drum beats to convey orders over long distances.
When separate armies allied to meet a common threat, however, the leadership was not always confident that the various armies fighting together would do what they were ordered to do. Would both armies move forward as ordered, or would one hold back to allow the other to take the brunt of the enemy attack? Would one army misinterpret an order or function as a double agent to undermine the alliance to reach a peace agreement rather than fighting to the death as they were ordered?
The idea that leaders could not always be certain that their subordinates had received the same message was popularly termed as Byzantine Generals’ problem in computing terms.
Blockchain technology is the first technology capable of solving this problem by demonstrating that a specific message cannot be modified and that it can only be read by those who have been given access to it.
At the most simple level, Blockchain systems use Public-Private Key Cryptography, which is a way to lock data such that only those with a private key can access it. Anyone can see the life of the data, but they have no means of opening it.
These data are locked into blocks that are attached to each new block that is added to the chain after a certain period of time. These blocks are shared with everyone on the network, and another cryptographic feature proves that each block on each device on the network is the same. In short, we now have a way of showing that a piece of data on the blockchain is original, unchangeable, and can only be accessed by the intended receiver.
Privacy is a hot topic!!!
Challenges of data protection
From a data owner perspective, the problem of protecting personal data is threefold:
- Lack of ownership
- Lack of transparency
- Security breaches
Blockchain Secures Your Personal Data
Companies store huge amounts of Personal Identifiable Information (PII) on customers and employees. As a result, phishing schemes aim at HR to gain access to valuable employee data.
In the past, the use of data lacked transparency. People didn’t know who or how they were using their data. With GDPR, consent is now mandatory for purposes such as analytics, profit. Owners have gained control and blockchain secures personal data.
Covering Your Social Footprint
A lot of people are using social media. For example, we store your career data on LinkedIn and share your photos with friends on Facebook. We’re leaving credit card numbers with online banking or shopping services.
These sites collect and store our data on their servers. From a technological point of view, data stored in one place is dangerous. They’re calling it a single point of failure. Because, if the site is hacked, the database and personal records are vulnerable to fraud.
Recent events have shown that safety must be a priority. When a database is compromised or copied, the information is in the wrong hands. For example, data security breaches on Equifax and Facebook put millions of users at risk.
So How Can Blockchain Help Secure Your Personal Data?
Distributed Ledger Technology puts the control of personal data back in the hands of the owner. Create your identity online and store your identity using blockchain is safer. The distributed ledger will replace the central database.
Think of it as creating a wallet to hold Personal Identifiable Information and transact digital currencies.
For example, when a site asks for your data, you don’t need to enter it. Instead, you give a third-party access to your wallet for a defined use over a specific period of time. The third-party has your permission to look, but they don’t store information for you.
What’s With The Private Blockchains?
Some have tried to create private blockchains where only their trusted friends can ensure network securities, who do not receive cryptocurrency as a reward. This is similar to the current system of inter-bank money transfer, SWIFT, which used to be quite secure but has seen some spectacular break-ins in recent years. Private networks are much less secure than public ones, which is why we have not seen any private networks being used to store significant amounts of financial wealth.
So, being able to securely record, store and share data, we have entered a new era in which some forms of less important data can be freely shared with anyone, while more important data, usually money and assets, can only be shared with those we want to share with. Blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies work together to keep this new network secure and safe. Blockchain implementation necessitates the digital readiness of millions of people to transact in real-time. This requires more blockchain platforms and blockchain professionals and needs more people to show interest in learning blockchain building.