“Yes, This Is Another GDPR Email…”
Email, the 40-year old plus technology, still dominates our communication. Nearly everyone has an email address, is signed up to a mailing list, and has probably spent the past week being bombarded by companies scrambling to comply with, the now implemented, GDPR. On May 25, 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a regulation passed in European Union (EU), is a law that enforces the protection of data.
GDPR requirements send a global message that extends well outside of the EU to all businesses. It provides consumers with a reasonable justification for any personal data a business has stored or collected, getting their permission to keep it, use it, and, in the absence of that, delete it!
Businesses collect information from prospective consumers across geographical borders, and store this for reasons from marketing to completing transactions. Strict compliance to this regulation is cause for concern for all businesses, large and small.
As a small business owner, odds are repeatedly stacked against you and your business’ success. Your business relies on legitimate inquiries from prospects, sales and orders from purchasers online. Websites are the cornerstone of most business operations today, which is why this regulation is a challenge for all businesses.
Facebook and Google have already been saddled with lawsuits that seek fines with a combined total nearing 8.8 billion USD. For a small business, a regulator, or unhappy customer, could easily deal a death blow. The future looks bleak just a few days after the official GDPR date. In reality, it could be a gift, especially for small businesses.
Some technology innovators started digging into the technology behind BitCoin. It’s called “blockchain”. A few are already delivering tools that are the answer for compliancy, and (wait for it), bonus! How to run a smarter streamlined business!
‘Tokenization’ for Transactions
Blockchain technology has massive potential. The myriad of possibilities for individuals and businesses to handle transactions on the blockchain, is dependent on what are called “tokens”. Put quite simply, a Token (also known as a “utility token”) can encrypt all of the sensitive data often used in business transactions, like credit card numbers, and communications, etc., through randomly-generated numeric values. These values retain the record of, and access to, essential information about the data, effectively hiding it from ‘prying’ human eyes.
Numeric values (also called “hashes”), are stored, in precise sequence. They’re, linked to the blockchain, which is called a distributed ledger (also known as DLT “distributed ledger technology”). The DLT keeps a copy of the encrypted numbered “hashes” on any number of computers across nodes so many copies of the DLT chain exist and are constantly added to with “hashes” – this is known as the blockchain. Public key hashes are like IP addresses, while private ‘keys’ are held by the users – for accessing the actual underlying data.
What makes a ‘utility token’ more powerful than the oft-mentioned cryptocurrency token, like Bitcoin, is function. Cryptocurrency tokens have the singular purpose of speculation and transfer of funds. It’s done through the blockchain ledger, so no bank or credit card company is needed to transfer from one account to the other.
Utility tokens, on the other hand, can be used to run entire companies. They’re not only used for payments, but they can do everything required to process secure transactions. A significant bonus is that some of these tokens can replace the software small businesses pay for every month! The business gets privacy for their transactions, and the tools they need to operate, in one low cost system – that costs a fraction of what most companies spend on technology.
Tokens can be used to confirm who is doing the transaction, what has been done, and where the data is at all times. Only the users of the tokens hold the keys to unlock and view the progress.
Today, Large companies hold our data – so they hold all the keys. This is what is at the heart of the recent flurry of law suits.
A lifelong serial entrepreneur, Founder and CEO of BlockCerts Blockchain, Tim Vasko, is a treasure-trove of information regarding the intersection of technology, business, and global culture. Vasko believes that “…truly giving people and companies the tools they need, and ownership of those tools through blockchain, enables trust for all users. Tokens and blockchain, will define the next generation of business in an Open Structure, trust-based economy which is imbedded in every transaction”.
This is done through “smart contracts”, where there are endless possibilities. Businesses can tokenize their work and payments, while customers through Blockcerts, are assured they remain firmly in control of their own data.
Other players that are forming Tokens for basic data security Perspecsys (Symantec, and CyberSource (Visa).
Automating GDPR compliance, is essential.
Changing global regulations have the potential to spell trouble for any business. Without the deep pockets necessary to ensure compliance, tools such as BlockCerts, that provide tools for little to no cost to small business, or apps like Perspecsys and CyberSource solve challenges and are paving the way in making trusted transactions with privacy and security possible.
The GDPR is a new model that forecasts what the global market of customers expects.
Blockcerts appears to be ahead of the curve with over a decade in development. BCERT Tokens are expected to hit the market in late June.
BCERT Tokens are something Facebook and Google now have 8.8 billion reasons to wish they had in place. Now small business has a chance to be ahead of the curve.