Visible to the public Towards Enabling Deletion in Append-Only Blockchains to Support Data Growth Management and GDPR Compliance

TitleTowards Enabling Deletion in Append-Only Blockchains to Support Data Growth Management and GDPR Compliance
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsKuperberg, M.
Conference Name2020 IEEE International Conference on Blockchain (Blockchain)
Keywordsappend-only storage, blockchain, Conferences, consensus, data deletion, decentralization, deletion, distributed ledgers, DLT, editability, erasability, GDPR, modifiability, Mutability, personally identifiable information, PII, privacy, pubcrawl, redactability, Regulation, rollover, Scalability, Semantics, truncation, Worm
AbstractConventional blockchain implementations with append-only semantics do not support deleting or overwriting data in confirmed blocks. However, many industry-relevant use cases require the ability to delete data, especially when personally identifiable information is stored or when data growth has to be constrained. Existing attempts to reconcile these contradictions compromise on core qualities of the blockchain paradigm, as they include backdoor-like approaches such as central authorities with elevated rights or usage of specialized chameleon hash algorithms in chaining of the blocks. The contribution of this paper is a novel architecture for the blockchain ledger and consensus, which uses a tree of context chains with simultaneous validity. A context chain captures the transactions of a closed group of entities and persons, thus structuring blocks in a precisely defined way. The resulting context isolation enables consensus-steered deletion of an entire context without side effects to other contexts. We show how this architecture supports truncation, data rollover and separation of concerns, how the GDPR regulations can be fulfilled by this architecture and how it differs from sidechains and state channels.
Citation Keykuperberg_towards_2020