A cryptographic system that enhances the accountability process of government surveillance while still guaranteeing confidentiality. Based on blockchain technology, it employs cryptography to ensure data is both kept secret and simultaneously subject to public scrutiny.
In the era of digital connectivity, tracking and sharing personal information is crucial. Cross-border data flow provides governments and companies with pieces of individual identities that are quickly and continuously updated to capture the dynamic nature of online behaviors. These digital technologies promise to make our lives more efficient, but at the same time, they also normalize the use of surveillance in our daily routine.
In mobility, the gathering of citizen's data can have a profound impact on policymakers; it can be used to improve services and the very structure of urban areas. This technology would be an effective way of protecting user privacy while simultaneously being able to make use of such data.
Data security is quickly becoming one of the critical issues, with third-parties struggling to establish themselves as trustworthy custodians of the private information of individuals. When involved in public security court cases, governments must remain concerned with protecting electronic privacy while promoting transparency–tasks that may seem at odds with one another, but often function in tandem–; data must be kept secret while simultaneously being subject to public scrutiny.
Based on the blockchain, this technology aims to develop a public ledger that government officials can use to share information about data requests. These are based on a cryptographic commitment which proves the existence of a information at a given point on the ledger, but without exposing the actual contents. This system might help courts keep track of how the police conduct surveillance and assure that they are acting within the scope of the law, without impeding legitimate investigative activity. The level of transparency that blockchain affords adds a degree of accountability that does not yet exist. Other uses for this technology include clinical trials of new drugs that often involve private information, but require enough transparency to assure regulators and the public that proper testing protocols are being or were observed.
An accountability framework should be developed to address the complexity of copyright and privacy issues, which increasingly fall within the scope of ethics and the law. Debates on fundamental matters such as the loss of control over our data and the impact on privacy will only intensify in the coming years. Governments around the world will be forced to discuss taking ownership of this data on a transnational scale.
As sovereign states gather to discuss the challenges around privacy, the debates will become transnational, affecting every country, its legislation, and law enforcement. It will be necessary to create safeguards that will adapt to cultural specifications and customs. If these nations were to agree on an outline, the populace might be willing to more freely share their data, without the fear of abuse by either the public or private sector. Given that blockchain introduces an IT-based paradigm of high social value that could lay the foundation for true democratization of data through its transparency features, government initiatives in this field also need to ensure the openness of the actual algorithms required for the operation of these protocols. There are growing social expectations to make algorithms more straightforward and transparent, and automated decision systems more accountable and manageable.
With the rise of data brokers and new ways of selling personal data online, it has become difficult to predict or consent to data usage during the actual act of sharing it. The implementation of blockchain can make sure that personal data is strictly used for manners that align with prior and explicit consent, preventing leakage or misuse before it happens.