Privacy between Regulation and Technology: GDPR and the Blockchain

Asim Jusić


Compliance with the GDPR while using blockchain technology for data processing results in compliance issues, due to the fact that the blockchain and the GDPR employ different methods to ensure privacy-by-design and privacy-by-default. The blockchain is built on disintermediation and relative decentralization, whereas the GDPR aims for re-intermediation and relative centralization of the data protection process. This paper provides an overview of and suggestions on how to secure compliance with the GDPR while processing data using the blockchain. A focus is placed on the data protection impact assessment on the blockchain network, issues in identifying and determining the role(s) of sole and joint data controllers and data processors, obstacles to exercising the right to rectification and right to be forgotten when the data is recorded on the blockchain, GDPR data transfer requirements as applied to the blockchain, and the protection of privacy in the process of creating blockchain-based smart contracts.

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