Blockchain and Web 3.0: The future of private data protection
What solutions become possible with the integration of blockchain technology into the Web 3.0 features? In this article, Premjith Purushotham shares his thoughts on what the combination of those technologies can offer to private data protection.
Internet is today an indispensable resource for the whole of humanity. Even in the least developed locations of the world, some form of internet-based utility does exist, simplifying human lives there. The internet is driving many powerful technologies. And with power comes responsibility. Currently, we are sailing through the Web 2.0 tide in online technology development. Web 2.0 implies the present internet era of social media led connectivity and enhanced communications. The most significant question in the Web 2.0 era is the security of one’s data.
We know that “time is money”, but in this era of internet “data is more money.” There is a particular reason why hackers are targeting, big companies like Apple, Amazon or Facebook. The idea is that these few giant companies virtually hold the majority of data on the internet. Your search engines control and store the data you created through searches on its data centers. Similarly, social media companies like Facebook has its data centers located in remote locations which it maintains at a significant cost. The iCloud hacks are now so frequent that it no longer arouses the same curiosity as it used to.
Recently, Facebook was caught again at data collection using its free VPN service. The coming of new technologies like BigData and AI has further made it clear that data is going to be the petrol for the future. The more data a company has, the more it can energize its strategies to expand the business and reach consumers. Hence, the new technologies have played us right into the hands of big companies. But as we say, “technology solves the problems technology creates.” The solution comes from the possibility of integrating blockchain technology into the Web 3.0 features.
Blockchain is a reality. Its logic is simple and straight-forward. A blockchain is just like a public ledger in which information is spread over different registers. It has three aspects: data, hash and cascading interlink. In a blockchain the first block that stores data is called a genesis block. It stores data and has a hash value assigned to it at the instance of data entry. It means that the hash generated is an encrypted form of the data entered and to change the data now a person will have a hash change as well, making it impossible to move without leaving a mark.
Now, another feature of blockchain is that it is scattered across millions of small servers. Unlike, a tech giant’s large data center, the localization of data makes it difficult to get data in a lump sum for an attacker. Imagine storing a million dollars in small purses with 1 dollar bill in each wallet. It will drive the robber insane by the time he gets the whole. It is what blockchain does. Cryptocurrencies are already employing it.
Web 3.0 is the next big thing on the anvil. Experts are speculating that it is already happening. As far as one can gather from the concepts, a Web3.0 will be a self-learning internet. It will be like a personal assistant, walking with you. For example, you want to know whether you can get to the office in time through today’s traffic. You ask the browser “how’s the traffic today?”, the browser having a knowledge of the time of questioning and how often you have asked and based on your profile, will not only bring out the traffic conditions and will give you the “best route to the office today.”
The development of semantic technologies can further make Web3.0 intelligent. But to make it the instrument of data protection, it is essential to base this technology on the blockchain logic. The real blockchain logic will ensure that we carry our data as locally as possible. The peer to peer review system will keep the users alert of the data block building. However, some of the challenges in the integration of these technologies are :
- How to locate and build small servers?
- How the protocols can be redefined to enable the data access
- How to regulate malicious contents on terrorism, national security etc.
- How to share costs of building servers between individuals, government and private entities, without compromising data ownership?
While many of the challenges are at the political level, some of them have real technical constraints. For instance, how will two different blockchains interact with each other with localized data? Scalability and interoperability still need a technological alternative. In spite of the limitations blockchain and Web3.0 opens up the first real possibility of protecting data. The future looks prospective with strides in blockchain development.