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Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

Privacy, Blockchain, and IoT--Can We Keep Control of Our Own Identities?


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New research from the University of South Australia indicates there are key privacy issues inherent to current blockchain platforms.

Credit: University of South Australia

Research from Australia’s University of South Australia (UniSA) and Charles Sturt University has found privacy issues innate to current blockchain platforms, suggesting the technology requires further refinement for consideration of privacy rights and expectations.

Blockchains use details of previous transactions to confirm future transactions by embedding this information within the data chain; each block is uneditable to maintain system viability.

UniSA's Kirsten Wahlstrom said encryption can conceal, but not erase, this cloud-based ledger, in violation of the European Court of Justice's ruling that European citizens have the right to be forgotten.

Wahlstrom said, "The crucial first step is for the industry to develop a clear definition of what 'privacy' actually is—what we are trying to protect and why—and then agree [on] standards to ensure those requirements are met across the board."

From University of South Australia
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