Data is power. It drives innovation, reduces costs, and increases efficiencies. It can help to identify individuals’ consumption behaviors as well as business’ water and energy use. More or less, data can help identify how governments and industry can do business better and smarter. But what are they doing to protect this powerful tool and enabler? They are turning to blockchain technology, a decentralized, transparent, and immutable digital ledger of transactions. Let’s take a look at how governments, businesses, and other entities in the United States and abroad are investing in this booming and revolutionary technology because of its ability to secure data among its other unique facets.
Colorado: In 2017, the Colorado government faced six to eight million cyber-attacks per day. In the search for solutions to protect state records containing sensitive and confidential information from manipulation or theft, the Colorado legislature passed SB 18-086, a bill that requires certain state departments to consider using blockchain technology. The bill details the numerous reasons why the state is turning to blockchain – improvements to data security, accountability, transparency, and safety. State departments are required to annually assess the benefits and costs of implementing distributed ledger technology. They are also required to consider using such technology for business licensing records and distributing data across state departments and agencies.
China: China’s Ministry of Public Security, which supervises all of China’s police forces, is using blockchain technology to secure stored evidence collected during police investigations. Its current system is easily subject to tampering and it sees a blockchain-based system as more transparent and secure. Other Chinese government entities are also embracing blockchain. China’s National Audit Office is considering using blockchain to store audit data it gathers from provincial and local level bureaus while the China Banknote Blockchain Technology Research Institute, a research institute under the People’s Bank of China, has developed a blockchain registry open platform. This platform stores statistics of digital identity, credit data, and digital credentials to provide a verifiable and supervised ownership registry.
Facebook: Not long after Facebook was in the headlines and before Congress over its use and protection of user data in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Mark Zuckerberg announced an internal reorganization of the company. Under its new emerging technologies group, this centralized company has a new team focused on how it can aggressively pursue applications using decentralized blockchain technology. While Facebook may look to use blockchain to secure transactions, it may also seek to use it to secure user data or to help users control their data.
Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI): BMW, Bosch, Ford, General Motors, IBM, Groupe Renault, ZF, Accenture, and others recently formed MOBI, a non-profit consortium made up of stakeholders across the entire mobility value chain, “to accelerate adoption and to promote standards in blockchain, distributed ledgers, and related technologies for the benefit of the mobility industry, consumers, and communities.” As stated by Teodoro Lio, Accenture’s managing director and industrial and automotive innovation lead, “Blockchain offers new levels of data security and transparency” so MOBI can lead initiatives that “improve industry efficiencies, safety controls, and the overall transportation experience.” MOBI’s projects will be related to vehicle identification and history, supply chain tracking, autonomous machine and vehicle payments, and secure mobility ecosystem commerce among others.
KT Corporation (KT): KT, South Korea’s largest telephone company, plans to integrate blockchain technology into its operations to ultimately rebuild South Korea’s network infrastructure and power finance, IoT, smart energy and healthcare businesses. KT recognizes that consumers are increasingly concerned about how data about them is being used or accessed and it sees blockchain as a profitable solution. KT’s vice president and head of the Blockchain Center, Seo Young-il stated, “Blockchain will put an end to the current internet era and open a new one providing ‘super’ security and greater value for data.”
Click here to read more about blockchain and other distributed ledger technology in an article written by Anne Canfield and Patrick Firth or visit the Michael Best and Michael Best Strategies’ blog, Blockchain + The Law.