29 Jun Paper on blockchain technology and privacy
In everyday parlance it is often said that transactions executed with blockchain technology are ‘anonymous’. But how anonymous is data ‘on the blockchain’ really? What we call anonymous in everyday life can, according to the definitions from privacy legislation, be filled with personal data. And what is anonymous today may no longer be so in the future. Jorie Corten wrote a problem exploratory paper about this field of interest, for her study International Technology Law at the VU Amsterdam.
Jorie’s article provides an accessible introduction to what blockchain technology actually is. It then provides a clear explanation of the difference between anonymous data and what is being called ‘pseudonymised’ data in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). For those who want more in-depth information, there are many references to academic sources. Therefore, Jorie’s paper is an excellent starting point for anyone wanting to know more about blockchain technology, the GDPR, and why it’s good to take the term ‘anonymous’ with a grain of salt.
Lawyer Inge Lakwijk says the following about the paper:
“Jorie’s article illustrates an important concern in the field of privacy: the fact that data that was initially anonymous can often later be linked to identifiable people. This fact is not only important for all people who want to protect their own privacy. For organisations that want to keep their GDPR-compliance in order it is also important to realise that technology is advancing. The following also applies to organisations: data that is not yet on the radar as personal data, may become so later. This is one of the many reasons why GDPR-compliance is an ongoing process.”
You can find the paper here.