Blockchain & Privacy – WS 10 2019

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20 June 2019 | 14:00-15:30 | YANGTZE 1 | Video recording | Transcription
Consolidated programme 2019 overview

Proposals assigned to this session: ID 46, 48, 60, 69, 70, 102, 109, 113list of all proposals as pdf

Session teaser

Huge centralized data collections are one of the main threats to privacy. They can be abused by large corporations, hackers who breach firewalls and secret services. Blockchain omits centrally controlled data collections and can provide better privacy protection in some cases. At the same time Blockchain means immutability and lack of central control. Data protection however, includes the right to be forgotten, requires regular deletion and assigns responsibilities to controllers of data processing. Is privacy regulation like GDPR an obstacle to the use of privacy, enhancing peer-to-peer technology like blockchains? Can blockchains be GDPR-compliant? What are the best practices?

Session description

The session discusses blockchain technology and its impact on privacy. Public blockchains offer transparency and immutability while the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) demands that the right to be forgotten is honored and imposes restrictions that are hard to be implemented on blockchains. The session will present technological approaches to ensure a high protection of privacy and will discuss remaining frictions between blockchain, privacy and GDPR.

The session will discuss technological approaches like the use of hashing or zero knowledge proofs. There will be presentations of systems for self-sovereign identities (SSI) and the verification of diplomas through smart contracts on public blockchains. Legal aspects such as how to attribute the GDPR-roles of controllers and processors to peer-to-peer technology or when hashes need to be considered as personal data will also be included in the session.

We will fork out into up to four working groups on-site and one remote working group to discuss the following questions:

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages for individuals and for society in using blockchain based SSI?
  • Can you imagine use-cases where SSI will provide privacy benefits?
  • What actors will benefit from SSI? Do we want them to benefit from it?
  • Should such a system have central oversight – if yes, limited to specific situations?
  • What are the main obstacles to acceptance and how can they be overcome?

The session will conclude with a presentation of different initiatives that are trying to standardize privacy on blockchains at the DIN in Germany, the ITU, the ISO and JPEG organizations.


The session will start with a series of lightening talks about blockchain, GDPR, conflicts and privacy-friendly blockchain applications. Then the session will be split into working groups which will discuss how to find the right balance between immutability, privacy and the right to be forgotten. The working groups will present their results and discuss them with the audience. The session will conclude with a lightning talk on standardization initiatives.

Further reading


Focal Point

  • Jörn Erbguth, University of Geneva

Organising Team (Org Team) List them here as they sign up.

  • Chivintar Amenty, YouthDIG 2019
  • Raphael Beauregard-Lacroix
  • Clarissa Calderon, Universität Hamburg
  • Debora Cerro Fernandez, IP Lawyer
  • Iliana Franklin
  • Anja Grafenauer
  • Arvin Kamberi
  • Galia Kondova, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW), School of Business
  • Diona Kusari
  • Oksana Prykhodko
  • Enzo Puliatti, ISOC Italy
  • Lisa Trujillo

Key Participants

The list is not complete yet and some key participants might still be added.


Remote Moderator

Trained remote moderators will be assigned on the spot by the EuroDIG secretariat to each session.


  • Jana Misic, Wilfried Martens Centre for EU Studies

The Reporter takes notes during the session and formulates 3 (max. 5) bullet points at the end of each session that:

  • are summarised on a slide and presented to the audience at the end of each session
  • relate to the particular session and to European Internet governance policy
  • are forward looking and propose goals and activities that can be initiated after EuroDIG (recommendations)
  • are in (rough) consensus with the audience

Current discussion, conference calls, schedules and minutes

See the discussion tab on the upper left side of this page. Please use this page to publish:

  • next telco on April 23rd at 5 pm Geneva time
  • We had a discussion about the title, the proposals are here the winner is blockchain & privacy


  • The biggest threat to privacy is the huge collection of personal data that is controlled by single actors. By using blockchain technology, we can avoid the centralisation of data, therefore reducing the risks to privacy and respecting the right to be forgotten.
  • In regards to our rights, freedoms, and responsibilities, the self-sovereign identity (SSI) is coming forward as the fundamental building block and a defining point of the future success of blockchain-enabled innovation. We should focus more on understanding the place of trust and 'trustworthiness' beyond one single actor.
  • Greater focus should be put on advancing awareness and education about the complexity behind SSIs in particular, and blockchain technology in general.
  • Education should be complemented by regulation in the long run. We should address the issue of the trade-off between user friendliness, simplicity, and privacy empowerment by the SSIs.
  • Developing standards could help create a common language between the law and information technologies. This would reduce legal uncertainty around the use of personal data within blockchain-based systems.

Find an independent report of the session from the Geneva Internet Platform Digital Watch Observatory at

Video record


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This text, document, or file is based on live transcription. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART), captioning, and/or live transcription are provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings. This text, document, or file is not to be distributed or used in any way that may violate copyright law.

>> JORN ERBGUTH: Hello, everybody. Welcome to our workshop, Blockchain and Privacy. Sorry for the delay because it was a previous event in this room.

So, I would like to welcome and introduce our key participants. We have four key participants here. You only see three because one is hidden, and he's a remote participant, and so we have remote participants --

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Speaking off mic)

>> JORN ERBGUTH: Okay. So he's connecting and he will do the first short presentation. And then from Foundation, deeply involved in Internet governance, analyst on Blockchain and cryptocurrency, e-money and digital currency at the Digital Watch Observatory, and he will start with an introduction in Blockchain and then we will have Lisa Truijillo, she is a freelancer, a Technical Delivery and Product Manager, as well as a privacy researcher. She has an extensive experience in web and application engineering. She has also, which is very important in this respect, a background in international human and rights law so interdisciplinary and also a member of the 4097 group developing best practices for privacy using Blockchain.

Then we will have Dr. Galia Kondova. She has worked as an economist at the World Bank. Lecturer at School of Business at University of Applied Sciences, Northwestern University and researching and publishing in the area of Blockchain in the area for economic growth and public empowerment.

Finally, we will have last but not least, Anja Grafenauer, Coordinator of 4097 working about privacy and Blockchain design of which she will talk later on and she is an economist with the background in corporate finance.

My name is Jorn Erbguth, a researcher at the University of Geneva and I have a browned in law and computer science and offering consulting services on Blockchain and GDPR.

I'm also part of the working group as well as the Focus Group on ITU on distributed technology, and Arvin, do we have you?

>> ARVIN KAMBERI: Hello. Yes. Yes.

>> JORN ERBGUTH: Perfect. Perfect. So we will begin with your presentation. Can you put the first presentation on the screen? Are.

>> ARVIN KAMBERI: It would be great if I could see it also. Yeah. Thanks.

>> JORN ERBGUTH: Okay. Perfect., so just tell us when to click.


>> JORN ERBGUTH: For every change of slide, just say to click and we will go to the next slide.


>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Speaking off mic)

>> JORN ERBGUTH: Do you see the slides?


>> JORN ERBGUTH: Okay. Please start.

>> ARVIN KAMBERI: Thank you, Jorn. And, hi. I will first introduce myself as just mentioned, I'm Arvin from DIP Information and creator of Digital Watch Observatory on e-money and virtual currency researcher and researcher in Blockchain technology and related policy issues.

I'm looking forward to the discussion. We're going to discuss a lot of stuff and not just GDPR related, but also kind of a more privacy and individual-related issues.

But first of all, I have a really intuitive value in a sense to give you a first overview or short overview on what the Blockchain technology is, you know, this is like an impossible task to explain it in a few minutes, but let's try to focus on a few main points that can later be used in our discussion.

So we -- I'm sure you heard that Blockchain technology is a technology developed a few years ago and promises a lot of good stuff, to say, if not the cure for cancer. But as we took deeper in history, we can actually see that this is -- this idea is not so novel and basically back in 1992, here mentioned Scott and Stewart had an idea of blocks of digital data chained by cryptography to prevent tampering of time stamp documents. This was, of course, the beginning and the idea was to preserve the uniqueness of the digital documents. That was the basic idea on this kind of cryptograph-protected ledgers. But then this idea is developed further and peer-to-peer networking on basic Internet protocol, it's later used to create the network of computers that can collaborate and synchronize.

It is harnessed this idea of blocks of data, chained by cryptography and it's harnessed to actually create an online tamper-proof database of any digital data.

So, let's see some of the main features which are also important for our discussion today. Today, there are many interpretations of this distributed data ledger ideas, often prefixed Blockchain is added to various forms of networks, but overall main features might add the following. The first, the Blockchain works on a consensus mechanism, so algorithms, let's say preset rules, which act as a current reason in the current state of the network to for the validators.

Consensus-based algorithms, of course, have not also are not novel and some of them like digital or establishing protocols are limited in managing large networks and reaching consensus between nodes and networks or users of a network.

Secondly, it's a feature of immutability and basically this data of Blockchain cannot be altered retroactively, using time stamping, and cryptography hash functions the timeline of data function is going forward only. The Blockchain databases can be amended but not retro actively changed or changed in a different way as we can -- as we will tackle that later, so mutability.

The third one, of course, using cryptography for security and verification, which means that blocks of data in the Blockchains are the chain by hash functions or cryptography and also it uses cryptography for connecting to the network or changing your private information or et cetera.

And at the end, I put this distributed, but centralized, but first let's explain what distributed in this sense means. It means that in this case, there is no central place, there is no central place in which databases store, no server on which database is stored, but rather all act as a network, run the latest version of the database, matching it, synchronize it with the consensus mechanism, put the consensus mechanism in place. So basically, distributed, is in this sense a security feature eliminating on a single point of entry for this database to be down or tackled or anyhow endangered.

Next slide.

So, so a difference or what we can kind of say --

>> JORN ERBGUTH: Arvin, you have to change it yourself and please take a look at the time because we are limited in time. Thank you.

>> ARVIN KAMBERI: Yes. Thanks. So I just wanted to -- the main difference is, of course, type of interaction with this network, and this will later be explained in the session and we will debate it online when we see what are the open, permissions of Blockchain or closed prior Blockchains. Just a small -- just a small graphics of feature and why, of course, is this important for database discussion is existing centralized structure, as we can see it on the left side, or similar based structures, and centralized, the collections are, of course, one of the main transfer privacies.

In a peer-to-peer network, computers are communicated between themselves to create the networks that can collaborate and synchronize without a single place of failure, and of course why is this important for our discussion today, and I will no longer finish with this one, is that peer-to-peer protocols, which is a basic of most of Blockchains is actually one of the earliest online protocols, and Internet as a miracle we were just discussing right now at the EuroDIG, is built on an open protocol, governed on interpretation, interoperability efforts by industry, governments, Civil Society, academia, technical community, and of course in a multistakeholder model.

And as we see from the -- as we see from the main overarching theme from this year EuroDIG, cooperating in digital age, and as we see final report on Digital Cooperation which is named age of digital interdependence, maybe we should also think about approaching technology of Blockchain in the same manner, in a sense of making infrastructure and policy efforts in a multistakeholder model.

What is today about understanding of Blockchain databases, interoperability, standardization efforts and ways to implement around most debated issues on today's Internet, which is privacy.

So I'm rooting for cooperation in a digital age even when we talk about -- or when we talk about Blockchains, and just to mention that you will -- I will remain in the online participation room for the discussion with you guys on group topics that will be presented now and a bit later from the panel. Thank you.

>> JORN ERBGUTH: Thank you, Arvin. We will later on split into groups to have a more in-depth discussion and we will also have a group for remote participants that will be moderated by Arvin.

The next presentation is about Blockchain and GDPR. Can we have it? Okay. Thank you. The question is, what is the biggest threat to privacy? Do you have an idea in your mind, what is the biggest threat?

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Speaking off mic)

>> JORN ERBGUTH: Is it a threat to privacy?

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Speaking off mic)

>> JORN ERBGUTH: But what's -- what's the biggest threat to privacy currently?

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Speaking off mic)

>> JORN ERBGUTH: Or do -- are we saying we don't have any threats to privacy? Think about it -- when I think about threats to privacy, I think about Facebook, I think about large collections of data that are hacked, I think about governments and organizations that spy on us, and so what do they have in common? What is the common point of all these threats?

It's, basically, huge collections of personal data that are controlled by single actors. So to avoid this risk, so even if you have the best intentions and you have a hacker coming in it, they will steal your database and your privacy is gone, so if it you can avoid the centralized data source, you can reduce the risk tremendously, but how can you do it?

When you talk about this decentralization, you might think about Blockchain, and then comes the question, Blockchain is immutable but there is this right to be forgotten so how can we bring them together? And I think that it's not really a problem, and so for example -- we have a question there. If you have the dataset and you create something called a hash where you have a finger print and you don't put original data on the Blockchain but you put only the fingerprint that can validate the information on the Blockchain and the data is stored in some really decentralized storage that is secured, and the next data you put the fingerprint also on the Blockchain but you put the data in a different place and so on and so organism, and so what does it make? Finally, you have the validation by an immutable chain so it's not possible to manipulate the data without that you can see it and at the same time, the data is stored in a secure place and you can delete the data and then the fingerprint, the hash cannot be used for anything else.

We can discuss it. There are things you have to -- well it's necessary to basically have the correct algorithms to have the correct entropy and in order that the hash where you cannot be used to reconstruct the original content. But if you apply these techniques correctly, you cannot reconstruct the original content, it's not possible.

And so this is being used in-house data, in supply chain, at the University of Geneva to certify diplomas, and with additional privacy-enhancing technology, it's used for coins like Monero or Zcash to enable private transaction, Bitcoin is not privacy coin.

So this is, basically, the solution to the right to be forgotten and with Blockchains, so Blockchains can foster privacy and you can, at the same time, respect the right to be forgotten.

And so this big conflict between GDPR and Blockchain can be involved. I think there are some small remaining questions, I agree, but in general it can be solved by using the technology, not to put the content itself on the Blockchain.

But there is another problem that remains. This is solved, but there is another problem that is a problem of responsibility, and this we will focus on later. Who is controlling the system? GDPR says you need to have clear responsibilities, you have a hierarchical model of data processing with a controller, process, and data subject and it does not really match a model of peer-to-peer where people are on the same level.

So, I have seen that there are some questions and my proposition is that we do the discussion later on, unless it's a question that relates directly to the short presentation. What do you think?

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Speaking off mic)

>> JORN ERBGUTH: Okay. So, our next presentation will be Galia. She will show, actually, an implementation of how Blockchain can be used to foster privacy.

>> GALIA KONDOVA: Okay, so building up on what Jorn just explained, we'll take the example of self-sovereign identity and we're interested in these cases that affect us as users, as individuals, and the self-sovereign identity is one possibility in which we can take advantage of all these characteristics of a Blockchain, and basically be in possession of the so-called self-sovereign identity.

What does that mean? It means that, basically, we as users, as individuals, can control our personal data. We don't have to register to have a Facebook account or Google account and then use it as a single sign-on account, but on the Blockchain we can actually use and control our characteristics, our credentials as we call it, to basically identify ourselves to the different entities.

For example, in our interaction with banks or with the government services, commerce, retail services, healthcare, or education. At the same time, once we're in the possession of our data, we also have some responsibilities, and they are related to the fact that now we have to store our data. We also can generate and control unique identifiers, right, which are now called decentralized identifiers on the Blockchain, but we have to be aware about all the consequences related to this right that we now have, and most of them are related to privacy.

So, the self-sovereign identity is a possibility which empowers us to be in control of our data, but at the same time, it has challenges, and the challenges are related, as I said, to the privacy issues.

Now, what you cannot see quite well here in this paper, but Lisa has a much better slide on that, are two different type it's of Blockchains, models, governance models that actually provide two different possibilities for us to manage our credentials.

And the first one is the so-called public permission list Blockchain, which would mean we have a Blockchain where the public, everybody has access to it, anybody without any permission can operate, can have the so-called decentralized identifier on the Blockchain and doesn't need the permission, but the Blockchain itself is reaching a consensus based on the so-called centralized classical type of Blockchain, like Bitcoin would be such an example.

An alternative Blockchain that also provides us with this possibility is the so-called public-permissioned Blockchain and an example of that would be the Hyperledger Indy, and we also have the unlimited success to this Blockchain, but the consensus takes place in a different way, which means by consortium with the different consensus mechanism.

And here, I'm presenting just a slide coming from the sovereign paper in which you could see that actually the self-sovereign identity, as I said, is being co-managed on three different layers and as Jorn also mentioned, only the public key of the decentralized, so-called the public decentralized qualifiers are registered on the Blockchain, but all the information related to our credentials is taking place off chain, so to say the so-called microledgers where we can actually ask an issuer to certify our credentials and we can just present for verification, but it takes place offline, which again solves the problem with the GDPR discussion, the privacy issue. And Lisa will have another example on how does that work with the public permissionless Blockchain and we have some good examples, the Uport example which comes on that, so could I just ask Lisa, maybe.

>> JORN ERBGUTH: Thank you, Galia. Do we also have a portable mic?

>> It doesn't reach.

>> JORN ERBGUTH: The cable is too short.

>> LISA TRUIJILLO: Hello? Okay. So the next slides? Okay. It's not the correct one, but it's okay -- no, it's okay. It's okay, go back. I will walk through it. So I'm just going to expand a bit more on the concept of self-sovereign identity and we're just going to take a closer look and what it could mean in the permission list context.

So along with all of the wonderful benefits that Galia explained earlier about why we should be interested in self-sovereign identity, what does it mean for us with regards to our rights and freedom as well as our responsibilities, it is highly believed in the Blockchain community that self-sovereign identity is actually going to be -- or it is a fundamental building block and is even a defining point of the future success of Blockchain-enabled innovation.

So, Galia also mentioned that with regard to self-sovereign identities we create what is called a decentralized identifier and here is an example of what it looks like. You see DID in the beginning and it stands for Decentralized Identifier and in this case, ETHER is pointing to the Ethereum network and the long number is your address in the Blockchain network.

So one question being asked in the identity community, these decentralized identity communities that get together and try to create standards, they ask when can an identifier be really called decentralized, and so this is just a question to consider.

And so, here is a bit of an explanation and I will go through this pretty quickly because Galia already mentioned quite a lot about Blockchains and this permissioned Blockchain versus permissionless, and in permissioned Blockchains, they're also consortium Blockchains, and so as we already mentioned in the consortium Blockchains, there are a limited number of participants who can take part in the consensus mechanism, and they can verify transactions, and so in some senses, it's considered that they may not be fully decentralized, and so there are some challenges around centralized trust concept via governing authority, and the examples are what Galia explained earlier with the sovereign network, which is based off of Hyperledger Indy from IBM.

Now in the permissionless networks, there are -- anyone can be a participation -- can be a participant in the node and they can transact and essentially the idea behind this is because of multiple numbers of participants, high numbers, and this increases the immutability of the ledgers, and so in this sense, it's considered to be more fully decentralized and having an open governance model.

Now, the challenges behind this have to do with privacy and transaction speed and the examples of this are the Bitcoin and Ethereum network, and so what we can see here in the permissioned consortium Blockchains, this strategy would be to have a specialized network, perhaps based on contractual relationships, where as in the permissionless networks, the strategies are to have a high number and diversity of nodes and often times this is based on the -- it also has game theory based incentivization behind it and it leads to a high mixture of users and verifiers who are likely to support the stability of this network itself.

So, let me just skip real quick and come back to that because this is not the correct presentation, but ultimately, with Blockchains, there is the concept of trust involved because you have certain types of participants in the network, so you either have a high number of participants who don't know each other or you have a lower number of participants who know each other, and so you also have this concept of incentivization and these are two important factors, particularly for the permissionless networks because there needs to be an incentive for why people will participate in the network and why they're interested in the stability of the network itself.

So one thing I ask myself is, who do I trust to write my history for me and what are their motivations? So I will go back real quick.

So in Blockchains, particularly in the case of permissionless Blockchains, it's important to understand that, essentially, you're agreeing on the state of the system and all the participants are agreeing on the state of the system, even if they don't trust each other. So this enables transactions between distrusting parties without the need for a trusted arbitrator.

Here is one example in Uport, they are a provider, an identity provider based on the Ethereum main network and here is how it would work. First, you would download the Uport mobile app and then you would create the Uport ID which is on the Ethereum Blockchain, and then the user would request, for example, an attestation, and so let's say for example that they want to confirm that they have a university certificate, and so they would request their attestation and then the university would verify that attestation and so they are the issuer of the attestation, and then in the -- and then the -- this is stored in the user's app itself and so then in the last section there, you see the third party request verified attestation, and so this would be, for example, an employer would verify the attestation and then the user would present this attestation to the requesting party.

And where we can see this actually happening is in the City of Zug in Switzerland, the citizens there are able to -- or the residents there are actually able to rent these -- not rent, but they're able to use these bikes free of charge in a City of Zug because their identity and their residency as residents of Zug has been verified without the need for the company Air B in this case who are the bike provider, without the need for Air B to need to know anything about them, all they need to know is that they are a resident for the city so these bikes are actually free for them to use, whereas if you were a tourist in the city, you would have to pay for it, and so this leads to the end.

So, now we are ready for the exercise portion.

>> JORN ERBGUTH: Okay. For the exercise portion we have prepared a couple of questions, and basically, we have -- we have some following questions. No -- this is -- here. Yeah.

What are the advantages and disadvantages for individuals and for society in using Blockchain-based services around identity?

Then, can you imagine use cases where self-sovereign identity will provide privacy benefits? This is the reason why we should do it, or if there is no benefit, maybe we shouldn't do it.

Then the next question is related to that, what actions would benefit from self-sovereign identity? Do we want them to benefit from it? So maybe criminalists could benefit from it, but maybe we don't want them to benefit, but as actors can benefit from them as well, and we want them to benefit.

And further on, should such a system have central oversight, and if yes, limited to specific situations? So it's a very important question of governance, and when you have such a system, when you have too much central control, it means that the central controller can do too much and has too much power and we don't have self-sovereignty. If we have too little control, it means bad actors cannot be removed or bad actors cannot be addressed, so we might have a problem that when technology is not able to limit bad actors, that the system might be abused.

So, this is a question of how much oversight should we have,; and finally, what are the main obstacles to acceptance and how can they be overcome? This question should have been on the slide --

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Maybe we can get them up.

>> JORN ERBGUTH: We'll get them up in a minute. What we want to do now is split in groups. We will have one remote group which will be headed by Arvin, and we will have, since we are a small group here, we will have two groups here, and I would consider everybody here until the gentlemen with the blue tie to be in the first group, and then from the lady in the yellow jacket and this side to be in the second group.

And so, Lisa will take the second group on this side, and Galia will take the first group, and they will be your facilitators, so please feel free to moderate yourself to, to summarize yourself, they are there to assist you, to help you, but they are not deciding what you discuss.

And we will have this discussion until 5 minutes to 3:00 at 14:55, and then we'll resume and present the results of the discussion. Any questions so far? Okay. Looking forward to the discussion.

>> LISA TRUIJILLO: We'll get the questions up on the screen now so you remember what to consider. We will split up into groups of four again, so I will take a group over here. We can sit on this side of the room.

>> JORN ERBGUTH: The second group will be on this side and the first group will be over here.

>> LISA TRUIJILLO: Now we have the correct questions up on the board or on the presentation, so this is what we want to consider.

(conversations off mic)

>> JORN ERBGUTH: I'm sorry that I have to interrupt you now. We're going to continue our plenary discussion and please designate somebody from every group to report to the plenary what you discuss and what your holdings, issues are.

So, Galia, for your group, who will do it? And Lisa, can you design somebody who will report?

Yes, let's please resume now.

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hi, I'm a lawyer from Greece but working in Lisbon, we talked about practical cases because we have people from Georgia, that was the first example and then Europe level for the use of Blockchain for real estate transactions and also Sonya for the Blockchain-based identification. The problems of actually being hacked, mostly the wallets where the information of the users were based, and a second level we tried to understand how the SSI is actually working, and we talked about the problems regarding the monopoly and actually providing the services of the SSI and who would provide them and who will be in charge of it and how they will be stored.

And, regarding the benefits of the technology to actually being able to take advantage of them, with how people can be educated with how Blockchain is working, that it's completely relevant to Cryptocurrency although people tend to intertwine it and it's another level of cybersecurity and privacy that needs to be taken into account, and also to be more user friendly because at this point only those with computing power can actually access the technology, even to do a smart contract.

>> JORN ERBGUTH: Okay. Thank you. You're welcome to come a bit closer to join the discussion later on. Lisa, you're reporting for the second group?

>> LISA TRUIJILLO: Yes. So, it's interesting because in our group we actually discussed also some of the benefits, the advantages and disadvantages, obstacles, and so pretty much we also talked about understanding the complexity of what's behind the technology in order to be able to -- for citizens to trust, so the disadvantages that we came up with would be, you know, gaining trust of citizens, you know, to what certain degree do they need to know how it works and but basically the education that would lead to them trusting and being able to use it and then feel the benefits from it afterwards, so or even understanding the benefits ahead of time clearly as to why they should adopt this system.

So, we discussed also some of the benefits of it, such as we would only have to select what we want to show to those who are interested in verifying some information about us, so we can be, you know, granular in that sense. There is also a reduction in forgery of the information that we're having verified, so yeah, I think overall this idea of having a clear understanding of advantages and disadvantages seems like it was a universal theme here.

>> JORN ERBGUTH: Thanks a lot, Lisa. Thank you from both groups. Arvin?

>> ARVIN KAMBERI: Yes, Jorn, I can hear you.

>> JORN ERBGUTH: Do you have something to add from your group?

>> ARVIN KAMBERI: No. There is no remote participation. There is no one in the remote room, so I did discuss this with myself, actually, (Laughing), but I'll save that for a bit later.

>> JORN ERBGUTH: Okay. So what did you come up with, (Laughing), as a result of discussing it with yourself?

>> ARVIN KAMBERI: There are advantages and disadvantages, and just as mentioned as the previous panelist just mentioned, it is actually the education might be the way of how we can step forward in this endeavor, it's like bringing notion of self-sovereignty or the Blockchain base to have greater mass of people and working on education is issue. Thanks.

>> JORN ERBGUTH: Thank you, Arvin, so now I would like to open the discussion, and we had somebody here who just mentioned, but will accept those credentials, those identities? Because courts might say, well, I don't understand why this should be secure, please approve me, and they might need to ask experts and they first have to select experts. I think we, currently in Europe we have the legislation which is for PKIs, so Property Encryption Infrastructure and but there are discussions that are going in a direction to extend this also to Blockchain-based proofs, and then this question would be solved.

We had this question of do you think there are actors that would benefit from SSIs that we don't want to benefit? Like criminals being able to have IDs without their names but proving something that they are a member of a gang? Because if you -- well, criminals have one big disadvantage, they can't use each other, it doesn't work.

So they need technologies that are not dependent on centralized entities, so that's why they like decentralized technology. It's not because -- not necessarily because it can hide from officials, but because the current technology does not -- the current systems or current administration does not offer them any support because unless they're corrupt, of course.

Anything to?

>> LISA TRUIJILLO: You mentioned earlier also about the Procter & Gamble example?

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yes, so actually it popped up in the first question with the entity for individuals, for society, but probably also for data controllers or the ones who require the data, they are or might also be huge benefits and I was just talking about the use case and I'm somehow familiar with that the company Procter & Gamble uses Blockchain technology in data managing tool to just show people what exactly happens with their data, and this openly based on Blockchain technology just for the sake of trust in the system.

So, the idea is that if you were a trusted customer, a valued customer of Procter & Gamble and you know there is certain data with the company, you can look it up by yourself and this will then just add to the company, and is really in good standing, so therefore some kind of publicity effect.

>> JORN ERBGUTH: Anything to add? Otherwise, there is a question about usability. Do you think we are still very far from systems that have enough usability to be accepted? I mean, and people having to securely store a private key. This is a challenge. What do you think?

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yeah. It took me quite a while to figure that one out and even I am in that area. I do believe that actually living up the responsibility of storing and having and managing the private key to users, for instance, regular users, is too much to ask at the moment, so I think this is a major issue because compared to all the advantages you could have, just having this risk in certain cases if we take, for instance, cryptocurrencies at the moment, or to lose it you would rather have someone centrally knowing everything about you or potentially could know everything about you than losing your money, that's how I see it at least in this precise case.

>> JORN ERBGUTH: Okay. Whether there are some systems that chose not to hand over the private key to the users, but to centrally administrate them, which kind of defeats the purpose and do you think this should be done or do you think this shouldn't be done at all?

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: My personal opinion is that this is quite risky because this goes into the area of surveillance, the big broader complaint that we hear in the public, centralization of data. And so I think that going for a self-sovereign identity requires that the users are very well educated and that they are in a position to manage themselves, their private keys.

And, of course, we can talk about outsourcing or storage of private keys by external providers, but then we run the risk of having this vendor-locking problem, right. And then, again, the problem of monopolization and there are many open issues, and I think we can also distinguish between having the Blockchain running a central data storage by governments for improving efficiency, and then it's another discussion of having the individuals using the Blockchain for controlling their data, right. So these are the two issues, and for the individuals I think education as we discussed here in the group is the most important factor.

>> JORN ERBGUTH: You want to add? Basically, some days ago, Facebook announced to start a new Cryptocurrency in Geneva and when you look at what they call Crypto currency, it's a very centralized model, so it doesn't seem to be very different from a PayPal. And Germany has said we want to do a tokenization like Liechtenstein is proposing, but they said we don't want them to is a Blockchain that is distributed, with he want to have central actors, designated central actors that will have a chain where these tokens are administered, so this is not at all the Blockchain idea. So we have a lot of actors that go towards centralized control, and what do you think about this?

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Actually, I'm not really wanting to have a firm opinion yet on your question, but I just wanted to add, as you mentioned the Facebook organization will be an association in Geneva and Switzerland is just right now heading towards Lichtenstein-type tokenization regulation, and this is just what will come into Parliament early next year and right now it's consultation is running, so I think -- from this side, I think everywhere, there is just some gearing up on regulation on how to handle that because most countries don't have.

>> JORN ERBGUTH: Well Liechtenstein has very advantage -- very good step forward toward regulation of tokens, and made before regulation of ICOs where they need to be certified, and as you said, Switzerland will copy, more or less, the Regulation of Liechtenstein of the tokens, but do you see a lot of other countries that rely on a decentralized model when Germany, the CEUC in Germany made the proposition to copy -- well to take -- to base their ideas on the Liechtenstein model, basically they changed it so much that not a lot has remained in their proposition, but do we need centralized control or do we not want it? What is your opinion? You have a microphone there.

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Speaking off mic)


>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Can you elaborate?

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Well, my personal opinion, and by the way I'm from the Association of large holding companies in Switzerland, and therefore I'm rather on the business side, and therefore I have a certain, of course, optimism having centralized models that can be controlled by companies, will at least in their area, will bring technology forward.

So while having a total decentralized system is, let's say on the democratic viewpoint, it's certainly interesting but there it might take some time to develop the technologies, and there is always rather, well, time-consuming process to find standards and so on while just centrally controlled systems can be set up as just Facebook in very short time and this will bring forward probably technology which then will help to also set up different types, decentralized types, much quicker which in the end might be a good thing.

>> JORN ERBGUTH: Okay. So I think even with centralized oversight, you still have the advantage of transparency.

You mentioned the word "standards" and I think "standards "is a very important basis for it to reduce legal uncertainty, to make systems interoperable, to have a common terminology and I'm very happy now that Anja will elaborate on different moves for standards in this area.

>> ANJA GRAFENAUER: Great. Can you put up the presentation? Yeah.

So, yeah, just to close a little bit the discussion here, we also wanted to give a little insight on what's happening at the moment in -- when it comes to current standardization initiatives, and I'm just waiting for the presentation. No worries.

Okay. Great. Thanks. So, the first worth mentioning is the work of ISO on the subject with the technical committee of 307 that is working on a new proposal about privacy and personally identifiable information protection.

Then at the moment we have the German Institute for Standardization, the Dean working on spec 4997 about privacy by Blockchain design, but I'm going to elaborate a bit more on that right afterwards.

I thought that it was also worth mentioning the work of ITU at the moment, they have a Focus Group, precisely on distributed ledger technologies and they will also have a look at security aspects of DLTs.

What I also thought was interesting is the White Paper published by GPEG which is called two words standardized framework for media Blockchain and standardized technologies and in it, it mentioned that Blockchain has a great potential to address, among others, the privacy challenge.

And so, I'd like to dive a little deeper into the Dean spec 4997 as I'm the co-initiator of the standard and also working with a few stakeholders amongst which Jorn and Lisa are here as well today.

What are we trying to achieve here? So, the goal that we're trying to reach with this first pre-standard is actually to start creating a common language between law and IT and thereby reducing legal uncertainty when it comes to personal data in a Blockchain scenario.

We're also trying to make things a bit easier, providing guidelines and best practices, trying to get away a bit from the theoretical and help out, especially, IT professionals that are trying to be, for instance, GDPR compliant.

This pre-standard, we hope will be a great foundation for further standards and regulation that are much needed, in my opinion, and as you've probably heard during the whole session, we do have the feeling that Blockchain can be great to raise the levels of data certainty in the Internet and the online world, and that's also something that we kind of want to hint at in the standard.

So, just a little glimpse of the work in progress at the moment. What are we looking at in the standard? We're trying to look at personal data in a Blockchain scenario, what can be defined as personal data, how should you go about personal data when you're handling with an IT system that contains a Blockchain?

Then, what are the risks related and that are maybe increased or potentially decreased by using DLT or Blockchain and can you maybe evaluate a bit the risk and are there like questions that you should answer before using Blockchain?

And then we also want to provide some guidelines regarding technical and organizational measures to mitigate these risks that you've been considering, and since we want to also be very practical, we do have a look at GDPR attentions with the Blockchain technology, is and one of the outputs we want to have is actually providing design patterns, especially as I mentioned, for IT professionals, but also for anyone who wants to work and develop a Blockchain project or using Blockchain technology, and this is how it could look like, this is a draft design pattern. The idea is to have design patterns that are really starting from law and deriving from law like the privacy by design concept that is mentioned in Article 5 GDPR that translates for IT professionals or people working on Blockchain projects, what they have to do or how should the system look like so they can be GDPR compliant or greatly protecting personal data. Thanks.

>> JORN ERBGUTH: Okay. Thank you, Anja. So, to summarize, what do you think for the whole panel? What do you think is the main takeaway from this session or the most important thing about Blockchain and privacy, especially regarding self-sovereign identity? Galia, do you want to start?

>> GALIA KONDOVA: Thank you. For me, the most important takeaway is the issue of the tradeoff between user friendliness, simplicity, and privacy empowerment by the self-sovereign identity and this is an issue that needs to be addressed by policymakers and also education is needed here as we said to regulations so that actually the people are empowered to have control of their data, and also that their data is protected.

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yeah, so I totally agree with this. I have the feeling that there is still a huge lack of understanding when it comes to the issue, just generally, and there needs to be huge work done on the general publics' understanding of what are even the risks and how could you, you know, help mitigate them, and so I think education would be a big focus that is from my point of view. Yep.

>> JORN ERBGUTH: Okay. Maybe, Arvin, do you have something to add?

>> Thanks, Jorn. Yeah, I would just like to echo what was just said, and it's really important that we should know that we can go only small steps and we can't just plunge into this and with everyone understanding what's going on. And to also relate to the previous intervention from the gentlemen from the Switzerland, indeed this is the way how innovation will move forward, and indeed this is the way how we should all envision the future markets.

But and the way I just mentioned, it's do we own our own -- do we own our data? Yes, that's going to be an important question, but we have to go expose that in the direction and explaining to people how they can -- how can they even practice the remedy of their data. True Blockchain or any other technology similar, as we heard offline, was to say with our taxes or with our other private data. Thanks.

>> JORN ERBGUTH: Thank you, Arvin. Lisa?

>> LISA TRUIJILLO: Yes. I also echo a bit of what Galia said in regards of user friendliness and trust in that people should have in the system of what's happening with their information, but then the user friendliness behind adopting new systems such as this, and so but we can't forget that with all the rights that we have, we also have responsibilities in there and so in this case, it would be responsibilities such as, you know, our private keys and storage of our data and so this goes also along with the user friendliness to be addressed.

But I definitely think that in order to gain true agency over our identities, I need to be able to trust in whatever system is behind it, (Laughing), so that is for me this concept of a trust protocol in the system that would have to be established. Yeah those would be my final words.

>> JORN ERBGUTH: Thank you, Lisa. I think in a society where a technology is controlling more and more of our life, we need to control technology, and for example when you look at deep fakes, it means that we cannot trust traditional media anymore, we cannot trust paper anymore, we cannot trust video anymore, we cannot trust audio anymore, so it's not just the actors, but it's as a conventional means of proof that we cannot trust anymore, and so we need something that we can trust that cannot be forged by a single actor and that we can control so far as it refers to us.

This is the reason why we need the technology that is trustworthy, that provides trust beyond one single actor. We have all been betrayed by single actors, there has been corruption in many places, so we need something that is based on more than a single actor, and we need our sovereignty in these kind of systems, so I think self-sovereign identity is a very important cornerstone for our future digital society.

Let me please take or give the final words to Julia who will present the summary for the EuroDIG Conference.

>> JULIA: So I was as Reporter from the Geneva Internet plus forum, we're writing key messages and the report will be available for the session on the website, and the key messages will be shared with the panel for further comments and with the community, so please bear with me while I read the five messages, and then you can say you agree or disagree or in any way express your thoughts on yes or no.

So the first message, Internet is built on the open protocols governed by the massive standardization and interoperability efforts by industry, government, Civil Society, academia and technical stakeholder model.

We should approach Blockchain in the same model by enhancing infrastructure and policies. Okay, not okay? Problems with it?

>> JORN ERBGUTH: I don't remember having discussed it, but I agree with it.

>> JULIA: Arvin opened with it so I tried to follow from start to end. Of course, you can make comments. Second message, the biggest threat to privacy is the huge collection of personal data that is controlled by single actors and by using the Blockchain technology and its immutable chain secured by the hash we can avoid decentralization of data and therefore reducing the risks to privacy and also respecting the right to be forgotten.

>> JORN ERBGUTH: I would add a little bit of in the phrasing because the hash is not just used for the Blockchain itself, but it's also used to make the connection, to make the proof.

>> JULIA: Of course. You can edit the wording.

>> JORN ERBGUTH: In general, yes, of course.

>> JULIA: In regards to our rights, freedoms and responsibilities, the self-sovereign identity is coming forward as the fundamental building block in defining point of future success of Blockchain-enabled innovation and we should focus more on understanding the place of trust and trustworthiness beyond one single actor.

Okay. Not okay? Thoughts?

Next one, we should put greater focus on advancing awareness and education about the complexity behind the self-sovereignty identities in particular and Blockchain technology in general. Education should be complemented by regulation, particularly addressing the issue of the tradeoff between user friendliness, simplicity, and privacy empowerment by the self-sovereign identities.

Okay, not okay?

>> JORN ERBGUTH: You put in the regulation, we need regulation, but not necessarily at this point. What do you think?

>> JULIA: It was brought up by -- yeah. It was brought forth by Galia.


>> JULIA: Again, can you make comments on this.

>> JORN ERBGUTH: Fine, it's a detail but --

>> JULIA: Can you agree as a panel.

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Speaking off mic)

>> JORN ERBGUTH: Sure. Okay. We go with it.

>> JULIA: You can discuss further and then edit, you will have time for that.


>> The last one, developing standards could help create a common language between law and the information technologies and this would reduce legal uncertainty around the use of personal data within Blockchain basis.

>> JULIA: I'm just saying I agree with this one.

>> JORN ERBGUTH: Okay. Good to hear you. Voice from the back. Thank you.

>> JULIA: Yes, so if there are no factual mistakes, then this will be submitted for, of course, for further editing from your side and then distributed. Thank you.

>> JORN ERBGUTH: Thank you for the great summary. Thank you all of the key participants for making this workshop possible and thank you for all of you attending it and also contributing to the workshop because you played a very important role in the discussions to make this possible. Thank you very much. You can find our contact details in the Wiki. We're happy to hear from you if you have further questions or want to relate to it. Thank you.


(Session completed at 3:30 PM Local Time)

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