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Blockchain and the "right to forget": is it possible to compromise?

The European Union is preparing new rules for the protection of personal data. How are they compatible with the registries?

13.Feb.18 3:34 AM
By Daria Zaytseva


Blockchain and the "right to forget": is it possible to compromise?

The European Union is preparing new rules for protection of personal data. The main innovation of these rules - it is possible to automatically consent the usage of personal data during the subscription of mailings. Given the massive introduction of blockchain in personal services, there may be problems.

One of the most controversial norms that hinder the development of detachment is the “right to forget”. This provision is set out in the "General regulation for the EU data protection" (Regulation No. 17). The main feature of this provision is the right to demand the removal of your personal data from general access, especially in case of search engines. Under certain conditions, a person may be required to correct or delete his personal data if there is no need for them, or the user withdrew his consent.

The blockchain technology violates this right, because data in network cells cannot be changed. That is why blockchain is used in security systems for storing data. Thus, on the one hand, blockchain acts as a guarantor of the security of information from counterfeits or unauthorized transactions, and on the other, it can become a potential source of trouble.

What should users do, in such cases, whose data are stored in the blockchain system? Deletion of these records from the system will not be able to correct the situation, because in the previous ledger it will still remain safe. At this stage, the only possible option is to delete the account from the blockchain system and close access. But this technology is not effective, because access to data can be restored. Thus, there is a need to refine the legislation in interpreting the right to forget. It is necessary to take into account technical capabilities and limitations, which are not yet taken into account in the regulations.

The sphere of blockchain usage is constantly growing and requirements for technical developments are also becoming stricter. If the blockchain network contains incorrect information in personal data, it cannot be changed. This is an advantage of protecting personal data. However, it can create problems with the loss of access keys, or need to change data to more correct ones.

Existing problems can severely restrict the scope of blockchain application and call into question the future of the rule of the "right to forget".

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