Zcash, one of the first privacy coin to leverage zero-knowledge proofs, is further cementing its vision of privacy-protection by engineering its blockchain in a way that is GDPR compliant by “default.”
Primer on GDPR
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the European Union’s regulation protecting personal data and privacy; its goal is to return personal data to individuals within the European Economic Area. Among EU and US companies, GDPR has been accepted as a new standard for data regulation—companies have paid a lot of attention to become compliant with these new rules.
Crypto advocates claim that blockchain will return data ownership, privacy, and identity back to users. However, this vision is sometimes at odds with GDPR. Due to the immutable nature of distributed ledgers, some information is stored forever on public blockchains. And, because of Article 17, the right of erasure—colloquial known as the “right to be forgotten”—isn’t always designed into blockchain-based services.
The right of erasure revolves around the concept that a user can request the deletion of personal data at any time. This places greater responsibility on online services to more carefully store and access personal data. Moreover, these rights are especially important in an era where hacks and cybersecurity threats are becoming increasingly prevalent, giving users the opportunity to remove their personal data before it’s stolen later.