Can Blockchain and Digital Privacy Exist Together?
Faria Zafar
On 1st of January, 2020, the State of California, USA rose to a new dawn of digital privacy. The state government rolled out California Consumer Privacy Act, or CCPA under which Californians gained rights over their digital profiles created by businesses. They now have the right to request, review and delete their personal information that has been collected by various businesses.

Digital privacy is a critical aspect for businesses today impacting their strategy and methods of processing personal data. Every new technological innovation comes with a set of digital privacy challenges.

Blockchain, though a very promising technology is expected to have a slow adoption due to privacy regulations. Blockchains need a data structure where data once recorded cannot be easily modified or deleted. This is in stark contrast to the privacy laws where individuals can ask business to delete their personal data. If data has to be deleted or modified, then chain integrity also gets compromised. If data is not deleted then blockchains get affected by “privacy poisoning” as the chains become non compliant with privacy laws.

Companies are struggling to integrate costs and technologies to speed up compliance. Bart Willemsen, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner said, The application of blockchain to consent management is an emerging scenario at an early stage of experimentation. Various organizations have started exploring the use of blockchain for consent management because the potential immutability and tracking of orthodox blockchains could provide the necessary tracking and auditing required to comply with data protection and privacy legislation.”

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