Securing Users’ Personal Data via Blockchain Technology
On May 25, 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect across the European Union. The new regulations require companies to comply with consumer data protection rules or risk strict penalties, but there isn’t anything similar being applied in the U.S. at this time.In the past several years, there has been a range of notable data breaches that compromised the personal information of millions of people. In more recent times, Stratetic Communications Laboratories (SCL) and its London-based data analytics firm, Cambridge Analytica came under fire after allegedly exploiting the personal information of more than 50 million Facebook users to what appears to be an attempt at influencing the 2016 Presidential U.S. election.Whether it succeeded or not, is still up to debate.
Frustrated with the Big Data Analytics industry, CEO Brian Gallagher founded the Insights Network. The intention was to replace the industry’s archaic centralized infrastructure with an EOS blockchain-based solution in order to provide improved data and to compensate the consumer instead of the corporation. Insights Network was launched in 2017 and is based in the Cayman Islands.
“The Cambridge Analytica scandal is a perfect demonstration of the ability of powerful entities, such as Facebook, to pawn off their users’ data at their own discretion without consent on a case-by-case basis,” said Gallagher in an exclusive interview with The Scope Weekly.
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg’s willingness to testify should also put pressure on Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to do the same. Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley has officially invited all three CEOs to a hearing on data privacy on April 10.
Yet Gallagher doesn’t believe the hearings will make a difference. “I view them more as marketing opportunities for the representatives to make it look like they’re doing something for their constituents, which in the end won’t bear any results. However, what we are seeing is a snowball effect, the conversation has begun, and the difference makers are community projects that lobby and raise awareness such as the Insights Network.”
Solutions for Securing Personal Data
Companies in the European Union can ensure they abide by the new General Data Protection Regulation by connecting directly with consumers using the Insights Network Solution.
Insights Networks launched its INSTAR Wallet mobile app on Thursday, 29 March 2018 that allows individual people to securely own, manage and monetize their own personal data using a unique combination of blockchain technology, secure multiparty computation and smart contracts. Users can subscribe to Insights’ partners’ blockchain projects and be rewarded with INSTAR tokens for the data they provide.
When asked what the U.S should do to protect consumers, Gallagher said, “We’ve begun private conversations with representatives regarding upcoming lobbying efforts for new regulations in the United States, encouraging legislation to follow the lead of the European Union’s GDPR. “
Perhaps the most appealing trait of blockchain-based community project is that most of the profit opportunity is removed from the would-be middle man, and passed along to the willing participant. In this case, it’s the data provider who sells data on a consensual basis.
“The Insights Network platform is modeled around a consent-based protocol, so the main message we’re sending to regulators and corporations worldwide is, ‘receive consent from your users on a case by case basis each time you share their data’,” said Gallagher to The Scope Weekly.
The launch of the Insights Network’s INSTAR Wallet has seen more than 100,000 potential users sign up to use the app. Of that number, 40,000 users have already passed their Know You Customer (KYC) check, which means they’ll be ready to use the app as soon as it’s available.
Gallagher said, “The overall effect is a network of stakeholders who all realize the value of transitioning away from a central model of control, such as with a central ruler like Facebook. By comparison, as decentralized communities grow, the voices become louder, and legislators will be forced to respond with more than just a fancy, live television hearing.“
Full disclosure: The Scope Weekly received a small donation to objectively review this news. All thoughts and opinions are our own. This is not a product endorsement.