A solution might be to “split” information in a way that allows “Personal Information to be stored separately form the Blockchain”
But as per these Regulations (eg: GDPR), Personal Information includes not only “Name, Last Name, Address, etc.” (considered to “identify” a person), but also other sensitive or non-sensitive information, like Mobile Phone Numbers, Email Addresses, IP Addresses, Location Information, Financial Information, Health related Information, Sexual Condition, or Gender Information (considered to make a person “identifiable” together with other data sources).
There will for sure be a need for “really big doses of creativity” for designing and implementing “legal and compliant” Blockchain projects and applications (not to mention “Big Data”), especially where “consumers” are involved (for some B2B Projects…it will surely be easier to manage).
Of course, there are some “exceptions” in these Regulations (Certain Government Purposes, Public Interest, Organization Legitimate Interest IF not in conflict with Individual Legitimate Interests and rights for privacy and freedom, and some others…) but those are not easy to apply for “any general business”. And “pseudonymizing” is also an option…that is regulated as well, and must be very carefully utilized in full Regulation compliance.
Future of Blockchain and Compliance in Consumer Environments
With or without Blockchain…Organizations need to be compliant at all times; non-compliance is a major risk that nobody can afford, as it might have a big impact, not only in terms of imposed penalties, but also in the Organization reputation, customers’ trust and, eventually, in the revenues and results.
I believe “the Blockchain Industry” will react and try to solve this “incompatibility” between “Individuals’ Rights and Freedom” and “Corporate Interests” …but it will probably be a very long journey that might take “years” and “many changes to the Blockchain concept as we know it today”.
Interestingly, some voices raised the message that “GDPR and Privacy Regulations are non-blockchain compliant”, or “GDPR and Privacy Regulations are limiting innovation”; but reality might well be that “innovation cannot happen at whatever price” …and limitations on Individuals’ Rights and Freedom should not be the price to pay for some innovations, especially when there are so many “options and ways for technology” and, as of today, a narrowing space for Freedom and Rights for the sake of “safety”, “comfort” and “convenience” (and not always safety, comfort or convenience of Individuals).
In the meanwhile, other alternatives will make their way, and will for sure be considered by Organizations all around the World, while the “Blockchain lobbying powers” try to influence Governments and Regulators. Anyway, provided that Blockchain “is not owned by anybody” …who will take that lead (and costs)?
How we can help
However, as many of you know, we can still “help the Industry”, and provide a very cost-effective, straight-forward, easy way to “Witness and Notarize the Digital World”, delivering full Personal Data Protection Compliance, while providing Businesses across the World with a proper way to collect, manage and insert the “guaranteed” information they need, in the Information Systems they need, be either an existing, proven IT system…or a new Blockchain implementation or project, and at the same time preserving Individuals’ rights granted by legislation all around the World.
EMEA Chief Operations Officer
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