EU Privacy Law Ready To Collide With Blockchain Tech

If you have heard the word cryptocurrency, then you surely know the concept of “Blockchain” technology as well.


Then here is some piece of news for you.

“Blockchain technology is in conflict with EU data protection legislation.”

Surprised! Well, that’s not it.

The General Data Protection Law stated that,

“Users should be having the rights of updating or deleting their data in the blockchain.”

That’s impressive! Agreed?

Now let’s look further into this update

How Does The Blockchain System Work?

In a blockchain – personal data is stored and then transferred to many other users in the form of series of transaction.

This data is, however, unchangeable, which also ensures the reliability or accuracy of the record.

Two Basic Categories Of Blockchain

Private Blockchain: A restricted team handles this, for example, a Ripple block is particularly designed to facilitate funds between financial service providers.

Public Blockchain: This is not actually under control, for example, Ethereum or Bitcoin.

Technically, you can overwrite the data stored in the blocks, but only when the majority of the network node agrees to generate a new line.

It is relatively easy in a private blockchain, but in public blockchain – this is an infrequent and seismic event.

What is GDPR Conflict with Blockchain System?

According to Jan Philip Albrecht, Member of the European Parliament

“GDPR has some doubts regarding blockchain technology”.

Adding on, he said, “This is where blockchain applications will run into problems and will probably not be GDPR compliant.”

  • It’s vital to mention here that, the sanctions which ignore or violate GDPR law, faces up to 20 million Euros fines or 4% of global revenues.

John Mathew’s Argument, Chief Financial Officer of Bitnation

He said in Defense of blockchain: “Changing data does not work in a blockchain.”

And in fact, “GDPR is already outdated.”

He further elaborated that “GDPR was present under the speculation that one would have a centralized service which controls the authority of the client’s data – with exception of a public blockchain”.

Stance of Jutta Steiner, Founder of Parity and Former Head of Security at Ethereum Foundation

She consents with Matthews that: “GDP needs an adequate revision”.

“I’m trying to develop a perspective on how the world should be like, regardless of how this technology works.”

Steiner further explains that – “the architecture of a distributed public network is created in such a way that, the removal of private information is not possible – the problem with the public data is, once it’s public, it cannot be deleted”.

Steiner repeatedly said, “Given the current situation, I think it’s time to adjust some things in the GDP”.

“I do not see that why the regulators are so stubborn to not modify the policy – they will only see that other countries will utilize the modern technology and that Europe will be at a downside,” said Jutta Steiner.

Greg McMullen, Founders of the IPDB Foundation

According to him, the Berlin team knew concerns of GDPR – There are mainly two issues.

So who is responsible for records in a decentralized network?

Considering, a prominent attraction of blockchain is that it is immune to censorship – there is no central authority, and also users or nodes of the system are scattered all over the world.

What can be a Possible Solution to this Conflict?

Albrecht suggested, in a private bloc system – the responsibility to comply with the requirements of the GDP depends on the organization that uses them.

As far as public blockchain is concerned – it is the duty of the user who sends private information to the shared log, to ensure that it is GDP compliant.

“It is correct that the rules must follow the pace of technology, but we must realize the reality of GDP”, Greg McMullen.

He added, “The IPDB Foundation is working on several schemes to solve the data protection issue. One of them is a system in which some data is “blacklisted”, so even it has not removed from the system, it would not be published elsewhere.


The clash between blockchain technology and GDPR has received a lot of public attention recently.

As extensive changes are going on in the digital world, the rules and regulations must be altered or upgraded as well – keeping in mind the architecture or structure on which the system is working.

Or simply we can say that, technology should adopt the law, and the law should adopt the technology.

Image Source: Pixabay

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