EU Blockchain Forum publish “Blockchain and the GDPR” paper

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on email

The EU Blockchain Forum, an EU forum set up to ” accelerate blockchain innovation and the development of the blockchain ecosystem within the EU, and so help cement Europe’s position as a global leader in this transformative new technology”, has just published a “thematic report” on how blockchain technology fits with the principles and laws of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

If you’re wondering what blockchain is then the report provides a helpful summary (in its appendices) but essentially it’s a peer-to-peer distributed database system, where multiple devices can be used to store the database without centralised control.

The report highlights a number of tensions between GDPR and blockchain:

  • Identification of, and therefore responsibilities of data controllers and processors
  • The anonymisation of data within the blockchain environment
  • The exercise of some individuals’ rights

And whilst the Forum doesn’t pretend to know the answers, indeed suggesting only the EDPB, courts or governments/regulators are in a position to resolve these issues, it does suggest four “rule-of-thumb principles”:

  1. Start with the big picture: how is user value created, how is data used and do you really need blockchain?
  2. Avoid storing personal data on a blockchain. make full use of data obfuscation, encryption and aggregation techniques in order to anonymise data
  3. Collect personal data off-chain or, if the blockchain can’t be avoided, on private, permissioned blockchain networks. consider personal data carefully when connecting private blockchains with public ones
  4. Continue to innovate, and be as clear and transparent as possible with users.

Maybe this is something we’re going to see addressed in future work the ICO do around various technological advances, along with big data, AI and data ethics.

More To Explore

Eat. Sleep. GDPR. Repeat.

We live and breathe GDPR and ePrivacy compliance, so you don’t have too. Our GDPR UNLIMITED helpline is all about offering you help and support, whenever you need it most. As well as the unlimited helpline, you get up to 4 hours “hands-on” help each month, which we can configure to help you in anyway you need such as a GDPR review, or acting as your DPO.

As well as the unlimited helpline and hands-on help you get GDPR and privacy updates, access to our GDPR knowledge centre and webinars.

Unlimited email & phone support

Unlimited email and phone support. Email or organise a voice call as often as you need each month.​

Up to 4 hours "hands-on" help per month

We use these "hands-on" hours to do the GDPR work for you, such as reviews, acting as your DPO, checking DPIA, dealing with breaches, training your staff, etc. (Additional hours: £100+VAT per hour)

Online resources

Our Knowledge Centre gives you access to information, guidance, topic related guides and other tools to support your GDPR and PECR compliance

Updates, alerts & briefings

We provide updates and alerts and a monthly compliance briefing. You can either sign into the Knowledge Centre or sign up via email to receive an email every time we add a new update or alert

DPO services

Whether mandated or not we can act as your Data Protection Officer (DPO) and manage your day to day compliance

Webinars, workshops & training

Whether updates on the latest issue, workshops or team training, it's all included in your monthly retainer.

LIKE WHAT YOU'RE READING? join our email list

Sign up for monthly briefings and the occasional emails about our webinars and services

Want to know more about how we use your data? Check out our privacy policy