ULedger blockchain company creates overnight GDPR compliance tool
A hot example of what a practical and unsexy blockchain solution looks like in real life.
Data security has been a growing and increasingly expensive concern for any company that deals with confidential customer data. Distributed ledger technologies like blockchain stand to offer a permanent solution, but it's very much seen as one of those solutions that will always be coming along tomorrow rather than solving problems today.
The approaching 25 May deadline for EU Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance has thrown the issue into stark focus.
"Many technology systems in their current form are not capable of meeting the regulatory requirements of GDPR, and as with other regulations, compliance can sometimes be time consuming, expensive, and confusing," says ULedger CEO Josh McIver. "Our GDPR tool is designed to leverage ULedger's API in a way that provides companies with immediate GDPR compliance, and allows them to realize the many benefits that come with blockchain technology such as security and transparency of data," says McIver.
What does it actually do?
The GDPR compliance tool is broadly similar to ULedger's other systems, which are primarily focused on ironclad data assurance and the creation of immutable audit trails. Essentially, it's a third-party system that can be plugged into a company's existing systems and used for independent audits and tracking of any changes to data. ULedger does not need to access any of the data.
It might not sound too impressive until you compare it with the current status quo.
The current gold standard of data security is to wait until a data breach inevitably occurs then spend a fortune back-tracking it after the fact, while weighing up the pros and cons of trying to hide it from authorities and the general public. Clearly there's room for improvement.
A system that can proactively track sensitive data and any changes to that data as well as give alerts if a potential incident happens while keeping a thorough and auditable trail and acting as a "digital witness" along the way is a potential game changer. This system can be applied to organisational data, employee emails, photos, customer payment info and anything else digital and can be plugged right into existing data infrastructure via open API.
The main catch might be that ULedger isn't open source, although it says it plans to open it once its nodes achieve critical mass. This might still throw up some questions marks around its consensus mechanisms, node selection and security.
However, it's still a fascinating example of unsexy, ready-to-go, real-world blockchain solutions and how some of the biggest relative benefits of blockchain technology come from sheer inefficiency of existing systems.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author holds ETH, IOTA, ICX, VEN, XLM, BTC and NANO.
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