Who knew that the privacy of one’s personal information would become a variable? Our parents admonished us not to write anything in a letter or note to another that we would not be comfortable seeing on the front page of The Wall Street Journal.
We were well schooled in the art of bifurcating our lives and keeping family business in the family and a separate face for the public. Then along came the internet and in mid-1990s the advent of the social network.
Evolving quickly, in the grand scheme of things were more sophisticated web services, always for free, which brought the least technical of us out of our seats and into the milieu. We talked and shared and the thought there might be a server record of our chats and thoughts never crossed our mind.
Encryption, that’s what governments did, rare was the individual who was thinking of privacy, though in 1991 Phil Zimmerman, introduced the concept of encryption for everyday use with the advent of Pretty Good Privacy (PGP).
With this arrived the impetus to business to leverage these communities and the internet as a whole, and this caused a slight sea change. The internet was no longer a luxury item, infrastructure, businesses and our relationships depended upon the internet being up and available. Like the telephone dial tone, the internet was now a necessity.
And with the boom of online commercial platforms, companies began capture customer data. Some would protect this data, and some wouldn’t.
According to the Ponemon institute the cost of a single record as a result of a data breach was $158 per record and in 2017, a compromised record containing both personal identifying information (PII) and protected health information (PHI) was approximately $363 per record. Not insignificant by any stretch of the imagination, companies and individuals were taking notice, as credit card after credit card was being replaced. Being replaced for events about which the card holder had no inkling that their card had been compromised by a vendor.
There is no denying the hemorrhaging of data, which occurred in 2017. Thus, the desire to evolve a security strategy, which protects what you collect, is of immediate importance. Blockchain technology’s arrival was timely, as it allowed us to think differently about how data is protected and shared. Blockchain makes possible the adoption of the “zero trust” model. The model calls for the use of the secure distributed ledger.
The Open Identity Exchange shows us the value of the secure distributed ledger systems. Harvard Business Review extols how “Blockchain could help us reclaim control of our personal data.” Having the ability to keep “certified copies of identity documents, biometric test results, health data, or academic and training certificates online, available at all times, yet safe unless you give away your key.” Puts control of data in the hands of the owner of the data, the individual.
Which means that while industry simply accumulated our data previously, with blockchain, the consumer is the custodian of their own data. As such they are determining with who and when their PII or PHI is being shared. Do you know how or with whom your data is being shared?