Privacy Law Issues in Blockchains: An Analysis of PIPEDA, the GDPR, and Proposals for Compliance

17 Canadian Journal of Law and Technology 276

44 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2019

See all articles by Noah Walters

Noah Walters

University of Ottawa - Faculty of Law

Date Written: April 20, 2019

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to identify how blockchain technologies may clash with, and reconcile, privacy legislation. The research identifies legislative issues related to the data subjects’ privacy rights, and proposes technical and policy oriented solutions for privacy law compliance. Part one defines blockchain technology and distinguishes between blockchain forms to identify the nuances of public, private, and hybrid blockchains. Part two outlines the primary privacy law challenges to blockchain as a database and medium of exchange, using Canada’s PIPEDA and the European Union’s GDPR as a benchmark for legal analysis. Part three offers a non-technical primer of privacy-centric technologies designed to facilitate the compliant processing of data on public blockchains; this section also discusses analytical techniques used to identify users on public blockchains. Part three also explores the implications of privacy-centric technologies as a solution to legislative compliance. Part four offers policy recommendations designed to complement proposed technical safeguards and generate a system of accountability in a network characterized by anonymity.

Keywords: law, blockchain, technology, privacy, data protection, compliance, public blockchain, GDPR, PIPEDA

Suggested Citation

Walters, Noah, Privacy Law Issues in Blockchains: An Analysis of PIPEDA, the GDPR, and Proposals for Compliance (April 20, 2019). 17 Canadian Journal of Law and Technology 276, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3481701

Noah Walters (Contact Author)

University of Ottawa - Faculty of Law ( email )

57 Louis Pasteur Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5
Canada

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