Putting Data Protection by Design on the Blockchain

European Data Protection Law Review, Volume 7 (2021), Issue 3, Pages 388 - 399

Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2022-41

Institute for Information Law Research Paper No. 2022-06

13 Pages Posted: 16 Dec 2021 Last revised: 19 Jan 2023

See all articles by Alexandra Giannopoulou

Alexandra Giannopoulou

University of Amsterdam - Institute for Information Law (IViR)

Date Written: October 14, 2021

Abstract

The principle of data protection by design, as it is enshrined in article 25 of the GDPR, is difficult to apply in blockchains. This article will assess how the reliance on asymmetric encryption and other privacy enhancing technological architectures -necessary in a blockchain-based system- approach both user control and data protection by design compliance from the single scope of anonymization and unlinkability. Data subjects’ rights, accountability, and the potential shortcomings of applied technological constraints are thus sidelined. Ultimately, this limited understanding of technological privacy, acts as a misguiding set of principles for technological co-regulation through standardisation in blockchains. The standardization of these choices without a holistic analysis of data protection by design imperatives could ultimately weaken the position of data subjects, whose trust in the technological protections of personal data might prove to be relatively misplaced.

Keywords: Anonymity, Blockchain, Data Protection by Design, Encryption, EU General Data Protection Regulation, Privacy

Suggested Citation

Giannopoulou, Alexandra, Putting Data Protection by Design on the Blockchain (October 14, 2021). European Data Protection Law Review, Volume 7 (2021), Issue 3, Pages 388 - 399, Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2022-41, Institute for Information Law Research Paper No. 2022-06, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3942392

Alexandra Giannopoulou (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - Institute for Information Law (IViR) ( email )

Rokin 84
Amsterdam, 1012 KX
Netherlands

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