A Decentralized Personal Data Store based on Ethereum: Towards GDPR Compliance

Published online: Apr 17, 2019 Full Text: PDF (1.10 MiB) DOI: 10.24138/jcomss.v15i2.696
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Marco Alessi, Alessio Camillò, Enza Giangreco, Marco Matera, Stefano Pino, Davide Storelli


Sharing personal data with service providers is a fundamental resource for the times we live in. But data sharing represents an unavoidable issue, due to improper data treatment, lack of users’ awareness to whom they are sharing with, wrong or excessive data sharing from end users who ignore they are exposing personal information. The problem becomes even more complicate if we try to consider the devices around us: how to share devices we own, so that we can receive pervasive services, based on our contexts and device functionalities. The European Authority has provided the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), in order to implement protection of sensitive data in each EU member, throughout certification mechanisms (according to Art. 42 GDPR). The certification assures compliance to the regulation, which represent a mandatory requirement for any service which may come in contact with sensitive data. Still the certification is an open process and not constrained by strict rule. In this paper we describe our decentralized approach in sharing personal data in the era of smart devices, being those considered sensitive data as well. Having in mind the centrality of users in the ownership of the data, we have proposed a decentralized Personal Data Store prototype, which stands as a unique data sharing endpoint for third party services. Even if blockchain technologies may seem fit to solve the issue of data protection, because of the absence of a central authority, they lay to additional concerns especially relating such technologies with specifications described in the regulation. The current work offers a contribution in the advancements of personal data sharing management systems in a distributed environment by presenting a real prototype and an architectural blueprint, which advances the state of the art in order to meet the GDPR regulation. Address those arisen issues, from a technological perspective, stands as an important challenge, in order to empower end users in owning their personal data for real.


Security and Privacy for Iot, Privacy Challenges, Personal Data Storage, Blockchain application, GDPR, Profile management, Personal Data Store
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