Can the blockchain break the dilemma of data interaction?

Source: CAICT

In recent years, with the deepening of informatization construction and application, the value of data has become more and more obvious in the cross-domain and industry-wide interaction and sharing. The data types are complex and the standards are different. Data exchange lacks a source of trust and security is difficult to guarantee. Many reasons, such as lack of data control right, make data exchange difficult and sharing difficult. Blockchain technology, with its distributed trust mechanism and immutability, provides opportunities for data interaction and sharing, and is expected to break the original barriers to data circulation and sharing and improve data management and control capabilities.

I. Difficulties in data interaction and sharing

Data creates value in circulation and application, which involves "data sharing" and "data exchange". At present, there are two main data sharing modes. One is the point-to-point data exchange mode; the other is the centralized data exchange mode. Dataexchange in the United Kingdom and DATAsharing in Hong Kong publish and search data through a central platform, and then exchange data and trade. However, these data service platforms have difficulties in promoting the following aspects:

The interests of multiple parties are not coordinated , and traditional data sharing solutions require each data provider to centrally aggregate their data into a unified data center. However, it is difficult to promote data sharing between peer-to-peer organizations through the construction of a unified data centralized platform, because the leading party of the data center will be difficult to define, and any party leading the platform will bring disputes or dissatisfaction from other participating institutions.

The risk of data leakage is high . In traditional solutions, because data is exchanged through third-party platforms, there may be risks of being copied, retained, and resold by third-party platforms. Data asset rights and interests cannot be effectively guaranteed, and security cannot be guaranteed. Risk of leakage is high. In March 2018, Cambridge Consulting used the leak of the Facebook platform's data sharing, resulting in the leakage of 50 million users on Facebook.

The data is not credible . With the in-depth application of data analysis, the quality of data is getting more and more attention. The quality of data determines the quality of decisions and indirectly affects the competitiveness of enterprises. Data authenticity is the most important indicator of data quality, and data may be tampered during the exchange process. The data receiver cannot judge the authenticity and legality of the data. The authenticity of the data cannot be guaranteed, which directly affects the accuracy of data decision support.

The lack of data control and the role of individuals or enterprises as data subjects are lost. Data can be easily copied during the sharing and circulation process, causing the data owner to lose control of the data. If the data cannot be confirmed, the producer, user, manager and beneficiary of the data will seriously threaten the degree of open sharing of the data.

Blockchain brings new impetus to data interaction and sharing

Blockchain technology has natural advantages in the fields of multi-party collaboration, multi-agent and other fields with its distributed trust mechanism and immutability. Through a series of technology combinations and model innovations, it optimizes business processes and data exchange and sharing for related industries. Etc provided a good solution. In particular, the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was promulgated, and data protection requirements are becoming higher and higher, and institutions have begun to explore the use of blockchains for data circulation.

Multi-stakeholder collaboration , the blockchain distributed architecture is more suitable for creating trusted shared data ledger among multi-stakeholders. Without a "centralized" authority, multi-stakeholders can be multi-centralized. Way to achieve data interactive sharing. At the same time, the multi-stakeholders formulate standardized data transfer models, value evaluation systems, unified data formats, interfaces, and transmission protocols through the principle of consensus. While protecting the interests of multi-stakeholders, it can effectively solve the problem of data heterogeneity and achieve data. Interconnection.

Data encryption is leak-proof . The distributed architecture of the blockchain can share data ledgers among data interaction participants. In the process of data interaction and sharing, the lower level of privacy is directly linked to open sharing. Sensitive data uses a fully encrypted data circulation mechanism. , Sharing information based on the secret key to ensure the privacy of the data, adopting zero-knowledge proof, allowing the data owner to share data without revealing the data information, and effectively improving the information leakage problem of third-party data centers.

Reliable data interaction . By uploading data fingerprints and combining digital signature technology to ensure the authenticity and integrity of the data, you can verify and authorize the data to an authorized trusted certification authority and upload the authentication results to the chain to increase data. Letter effect. Blockchain technology solves the problem of end-to-end trusted value transfer, creates a trusted connection for more participants, and provides data trusted sharing services in a low-cost, high-efficiency, transparent, and peer-to-peer manner.

The data is autonomous and controllable , and the companies are independent of each other. Each of them maintains its own core data. The alliance chain system is established between the companies. The asymmetric encryption technology of the blockchain is used to ensure that the user has the data sovereignty. Access rights can eliminate the threat of third-party center copying data, protect the legitimate rights and interests of data owners, and promote data circulation and information integration.

Third, continuous exploration of data interaction based on blockchain

Both domestic and international are constantly exploring data interactions under new technologies. On the one hand, they are gaining dominance by accelerating the development of standardization. On the other hand, governments and enterprises are exploring more comprehensive data interaction methods through the implementation of practical platforms.

From the perspective of technical standards , the W3C Distributed Digital Identity Standards Working Group is working on digital identity-related standards in order to achieve user-authorized data sharing and solve the problem of data not being recognized and communicated between different platforms. The ITU ITU-T SG20 Smart City Data Focus Group has developed relevant specifications such as blockchain-based data management, data exchange and sharing, and a trusted digital identity framework to support data interaction and sharing in smart cities. The International Organization for Standardization ISO is working on standards for identity authentication and privacy protection, and exploring the boundaries of open data sharing and privacy protection.

From an industrial perspective , Internet giants such as Ali and Tencent and the government are actively deploying to create their own distributed data sharing platforms. Link ID² (Internet Device ID) created by Ali realizes the interconnection of all things and data interaction by providing a trusted identity for IoT devices. WeIdentity of Weizhong provides technical solutions for distributed entity identification and management, and trusted data exchange, serving identity and data interactions across industries, agencies, and regions. On April 20, 2018, 21 EU member states signed an agreement to jointly build a European blockchain service infrastructure to provide the EU with high security and privacy protection of cross-border digital public services, including cross-border identity, corporate cross-border data Sharing, etc.

Blockchain still faces challenges in data interaction

Data control is not flexible enough . Each subject has different management rights and sharing strategies for data. Therefore, flexible permission mechanisms need to be designed for this purpose. In the current solution, either the data is controlled by multiple subjects or the sovereignty of the data is owned by the individual. The control and management of multi-agent authority is complex and difficult to change flexibly in the face of different application scenarios. The individual as the data controller needs to be clear Can better control the data, the current flexibility of data control can not meet the needs of data circulation.

The technical maturity is insufficient , the blockchain has technical limitations and cannot carry large data processing capabilities. All data on the chain will cause extremely low on-chain operation efficiency and slow query speed. At present, the main solution is to optimize the data when it is packaged. Put the approximate data in a block, and add the block description information to the front of the block, and search by class to improve the retrieval efficiency to a certain extent.

The supporting legal system is lacking , and the field of data sharing has long been lack of norms. The scope of user personal data needs to be clearly defined by the law. Without clear legal and regulatory support, it is difficult to confirm the rights. The authorization mechanism and use time limit during data sharing, and new Data ownership and handling after data breach require legal regulations and protection.

V. Policy recommendations

At present, blockchain-based data sharing is still in the stage of social practice, and there are deficiencies in system stability, application security, and business models. To this end, it is necessary to accelerate the exploration of blockchain-based data sharing working models.

Policies , give full play to the government's guiding role, provide a good policy environment for blockchain-based data interaction, accelerate the development of blockchain-based data interaction and sharing guidance documents, and encourage enterprises to explore the application of blockchain technology in data interaction and sharing To form a typical data interactive sharing solution in various industries, and promote the construction of blockchain public infrastructure.

Governance , establish a cooperative and mutual trust mechanism, government departments give full play to their supervisory functions, provide local data verification services by deploying blockchain verification nodes locally, confirm data sources and authenticity, clearly define data ownership and use rights, and promulgate Relevant laws and regulations based on the data confirmation of the blockchain, forming a good ecological environment for blockchain applications.

Technology and standards , closely follow the development trend of international blockchain technology, and jointly collaborate with universities and research institutions to study encryption algorithms, zero-knowledge proofs, cross-chain interoperability and other blockchain technologies. Accelerate the development of a roadmap for blockchain technology and application standards in the field of data exchange, form a blockchain-based data exchange and sharing standard system, and actively participate in the development of international blockchain-related standards.

Industry , make full use of the industry organization resources of the ICT Institute, strengthen cooperation with universities, scientific research institutions, and enterprises, and work together to develop, popularize and apply blockchain technology. Actively promote the construction of blockchain-based data exchange and sharing infrastructure, explore its application in the industrial Internet field, promote multi-agent consensus, form efficient collaboration, and optimize the industrial structure.

About the Author

Zhang Yuwen : Now works at the Technology Research Department of the Institute of Industrial Internet and Internet of Things, China Academy of Information and Communications Technology. His research fields include research on industrial Internet logo analysis, Internet of Things, future network, and blockchain.

Chi Cheng : Deputy Director of the Technology Research Department of the Institute of Industrial Internet and Internet of Things, China Academy of Information and Communications Technology. The research area includes research work on industrial Internet logo analysis, Internet of Things, future network, block chain, etc., participating in national industrial Internet logo analysis system planning and major project promotion work, as well as a number of ministry, provincial, and municipal level topics and projects.

Yurong Rong : Currently working at the Technology Research Department of the Industrial Internet and Internet of Things Institute of China Academy of Information and Communications Technology. His research fields include research on industrial Internet logo analysis, Internet of Things, future network, and blockchain.