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Decentralizing Privacy Using Blockchain

What is Decentralized System Blockchain, and How Does It Work?

In decentralized systems, a network of computers uses a distributed ledger technology called blockchain to record transactions and track assets. It is a method of data storage that makes it impossible for anyone to alter, hack, or compromise the system. Intellectual property, patents, copyrights, money, and other brand assets are examples of intangible assets. Homes, automobiles, and land are examples of tangible assets.

This article describes a decentralized approach to managing personal data that ensures consumers retain ownership and control over their information.

Blockchain technology is a framework for storing public transactional records, sometimes called ‘blocks’, across multiple databases in a network, also known as ‘chain’, connected by peer-to-peer nodes. This type of storage is frequently referred to as a "digital ledger."

Every transaction in this ledger is validated and protected against fraud by the owner's digital signature, which also serves to authenticate the transaction. As a result, the data in the digital ledger is highly safe.

How it works:

You may have observed that several companies have been incorporating blockchain technology in recent years and are hiring new blockchain experts. But how does blockchain technology work? Is this a substantial modification or merely an addition?

Let's start with demystifying Blockchain technology since it is still in its infancy and has the potential to completely revolutionize the future.

Three of the most popular technologies are combined in Blockchain:

  • Cryptographic keys.
  • a network of peer-to-peer that uses a shared ledger.
  • a method of computation that stores network transactions and records.

The private and public keys are the two different kinds of cryptographic keys. Each individual or node has both of these keys, which are used to create digital signatures. This digital signature, which acts as a precise and secure reference for digital identification, is the most critical aspect of blockchain technology. Each transaction is verified by the owner's digital signature.

A mathematical verification authorizes a contract or transaction in a peer-to-peer network. In this peer-to-peer network, a sizable number of people collaborate as authorities to among other things, reach agreements on transactions.

The digital signature protects the information in the digital ledger from tampering and ensures that it is incredibly secure. The most intriguing feature of this ledger is that while everyone may view the data, it cannot be altered.

How Does Blockchain Technology Protect Privacy?

The ability for enterprises to share data in previously unattainable ways is one of the significant advantages of blockchain technology, creating opportunities for improved cooperation, increased operational efficiencies, and increased revenue. Because the data are kept on shared ledgers that may be accessed by various blockchain participants, concerns regarding how to ensure data privacy are raised in these settings.

According to the generally accepted self-sovereign identity theory, people should be in charge of their own identities and have autonomy over how parts of their identities are communicated with others. Decentralized identification (DID) is a self-sovereign identity embodiment enabled by blockchain technology that has the potential to enhance the privacy and security of personal data significantly.

DID describes the individual ownership of digital personal information pertaining to many facets of identity. Microsoft, for example, adopts a person-centered approach and assists in developing DID standards. Returning data ownership to the people, it relates, can be advantageous for both those people and the entities in charge of maintaining its security.

Blockchain technology makes DID possible, giving users a place to keep their data from the databases of the businesses they transact with. The blockchain can be used to record metadata or references to this data, which can be used to validate assertions people make about their data. Data is owned and controlled by these individuals. A user might receive a driver's license from a license bureau, which the user will keep in their possession. The user can give the license to a party such as an insurance company and the party can independently verify the issuer and expiration date when an insurance company or other party wants to confirm that the user is licensed.

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The Existing Privacy Challenges

In many countries, the right to privacy is seen as a fundamental human right. People’s right to manage their personal data may be included in that privacy. The ownership and control of a person's personal data can have an impact on their relationships with others and even their identity. Hence this right must be vigorously defended.

Regulations governing the collection and management of personal data are being established quickly. With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) adopted in 2016, the European Union has taken the lead in establishing privacy laws. According to the legislation, organizations must adequately preserve any personal information about EU individuals they collect to conduct business with other EU member states.

The world is experiencing a significant increase in data. A recent study projected that the past two years had seen a 20 percent increase in data collection across the globe. Since its launch, Facebook, the largest social media platform, has amassed 300 petabytes of personal data—one hundred times more than the Library of Congress had in more than 200 years. Businesses and organizations utilize the information to grow their business; they collect it to tailor offerings, streamline internal decision-making, forecast future trends, and more. Data is an essential resource in our economy today.

The rise in identity theft has been one of the drawbacks of digital transformation. Cybercriminals target government databases. As in the case of the 2017 Equifax database breach, database intrusions have made millions of Americans' names, Social Security numbers, birthdates, residences, and driver's license numbers publicly available. According to a report by Booz Allen Hamilton, blockchain data structures strengthen network security by lowering the chance of a single point of failure, making a database intrusion more challenging.

Proposed Solution for Existing Privacy Challenges

The three entities that make up our system are mobile phone users who are interested in downloading as well as using applications, and services, which are the companies that offer these applications and must process personal data for operational and business-related reasons, and nodes, which are organizations tasked with sustaining the blockchain and a distributed private key-value data store in exchange for rewards. You could keep service profiles on the blockchain and confirm the identity of users, even though they are often (pseudo)anonymous in the system.

The blockchain now supports two different transactions: Tdata for data storage and retrieval and Taccess for managing access control. A mobile software development kit (SDK) that services can employ in their development process might readily incorporate these network functions.

The following example illustrates a typical scenario: The user installs a program that uses our platform to protect his privacy. When a user registers for the first time, a new shared (user, service) identity is created and submitted to the blockchain in a Taccess transaction along with the relevant permissions. Using a shared encryption key, data collected on the phone (for instance, sensor data like position) is encrypted and delivered to the blockchain in a Tdata transaction, which then merely keeps a pointer to the data on the public ledger and routes it to off-blockchain key-value storage; the pointer is the data's SHA-256 hash, this cryptographic algorithm hashing method generates a 256-bit signature for a document that is nearly unique.

The service and the user can query the data if the pointer (key) is associated with the Tdata transaction. The blockchain then confirms that the user or the service is the rightful owner of the digital signature. The service's access rights to the data are also examined. The user may also revoke access to previously stored data by submitting a Taccess transaction with a new set of permissions at any time to modify the rights provided to the service.

Benefits of Blockchain Technology

The existing approach, in which third parties acquire and control enormous amounts of personal data, is called into question by the recent rise in reported surveillance and security breaches endangering users' privacy.

The following is a list of the main advantages you can anticipate experiencing when implementing Blockchain technology in your business:

  • A transaction cannot be modified once it has been recorded since it is an immutable public digital ledger.
  • Blockchain is always secure because of the encryption feature.
  • Due to the ledger's automatic updating, transactions are completed quickly and transparently.
  • Since the system is decentralized, there is no intermediate fee.
  • Participants confirm and verify the transaction's legitimacy.

Blockchain improves the traceability, security, trustworthiness, and transparency of data shared across a business network while generating new efficiencies that save costs.

Emerging Blockchain Applications are Disrupting Future Industries

Decentralized applications (DApps) are digital applications or programs powered by smart contracts that run on blockchains as opposed to centralized servers. Blockchain app development services offer a wide range of services and features, from gaming to financial, social networking, and much more, and have a similar appearance and feel to ordinary mobile apps on your smartphone.

DApps operate on decentralized peer-to-peer networks, as the name suggests. According to an early report, DApps contain the following characteristics:

  • DApps are open-source, allowing anyone to access, verify, use, copy, and edit their source code. The majority of its data is not controlled by a single entity. Users are also able to suggest and vote on DApp modifications.
  • Decentralized and cryptographically safe: To protect data, the DApp stores all of its data on a public, decentralized blockchain maintained by many users (or nodes).
  • A tokenized system: A cryptographic token is required to access DApps. They can use native tokens created using a consensus mechanism like Proof of Work (PoW) or Proof of Stake, or they can adopt cryptocurrencies like ETH (PoS). Additionally, contributors like miners and stakers can be rewarded with the token.
All programs that run on blockchain networks and contain smart contract functionality are now collectively referred to as "DApps."

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Discussion of the Emerging blockchain and AI industry uses

The 2019–2020 Covid 19 pandemic has led scientists and doctors to study how to quickly acquire information on viral exposure and transmission to stop the disease's spread while protecting users' privacy. Point-of-care diagnostics, which depend on quick testing of patients who may have been exposed to the virus, are an efficient technique to monitor the spread and lessen the severity of the illness.

By combining AI and blockchain with other Web 3.0 technologies like internet of things (IoT) sensors and edge devices, several cities are attempting to become "smart cities." These technologies enable intelligent transportation systems. IoT sensors are used by self-driving automobiles to monitor their environment continuously and even foresee future events using artificial intelligence without disclosing personal information.

Blockchain and AI integration can also be advantageous for smart home systems that protect user privacy while providing valuable data for the study. Many manufacturers are enabling device communication as smart home systems gain popularity. These programs are excellent resources for consumer usage information. Blockchain systems with AI capabilities can be utilized to push machine learning and training to end-users mobile devices and edge servers.

These use cases are examples of how blockchain technology and artificial intelligence are being applied to achieve goals while protecting the privacy of individual user data. Technologists and user communities continue to create new use cases as they become aware of the potential of systems that offer both functionality and privacy.

We Can Help You Build Privacy-Focused Blockchain Solutions

We put into practice a technique that transforms a blockchain into an autonomous access-control manager without needing third-party trust. Apart from cryptocurrency transactions, we build platforms that transmit instructions, including storing, searching, and exchanging data, rather than being exclusively financial.

There are crucial privacy issues when utilizing third-party services and we touched on that in this article. Our focus was on platforms for mobile devices, where services distribute programs for end-users to install. These programs continuously gather detailed personal information about users without their awareness or consent. We assume that the services are sincere but interested in our analysis. It should be noted that the same method may be applied to other data privacy issues, such as people sharing their medical information for scientific research, with the ability to promptly opt out and the capacity to monitor how it is utilized.

Our blockchain development company adopts a development approach that defends against the following typical privacy problems:

Data Ownership:

The ownership and control of users’ data is a key component of our methodology. As a result, the system sees users as the data's owners and services as visitors with granted access.

Data Audibility and Transparency:

Every user has complete control over the information gathered about them and how it is used.

Access Control:

Users being forced to accept several rights upon sign-up is one of the main issues with mobile applications. These permissions are unrestricted, and the only way to change the terms of the agreement is to choose not to use them. Instead, our system allows the user to change the rights at any moment and cancel access to data that has already been acquired. This method might be used, for example, to enhance the current authorization dialog in smartphone apps. The access-control policies would have been securely kept on a blockchain, so only the user is permitted to update them, yet the user experience will likely stay the same.

Final Thoughts

Personal information and sensitive information, in general, shouldn't be trusted by the third party because they could be attacked or misused. Users should control and own their data instead, without sacrificing security or impeding businesses' and governments' ability to offer specialized services. Our dedicated blockchain developers make this possible by fusing an off-blockchain storage solution with a blockchain that has been repurposed as an access-control moderator. Doing this helps distribute data in a way that protects user privacy and gives users access to their own data, blockchain introduces new mechanisms like decentralized identities and zero-knowledge proofs.

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