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GDPR and not Child Pornogrpahy is the Issue with Bitcoin


Apr 03, 2018 Posted /  948 Views


GDPR and not Child Pornogrpahy is the Issue with Bitcoin

The news this week was flooded with just one thing, “how bitcoin is nearing it’s end” and everything like this. Every news title read something or the other like this which simply implies its end. The reason to it being completely out of the bound; child pornography!

This has happened because of the following reason:

  • A research report “A Quantitative Analysis of the Impact of Arbitrary Blockchain Content on Bitcoin“, claims that there are 8 instances of blockchain encoded data which would be considered child porn in “many jurisdictions”
  • Out of these 8, “five files only show, describe, or link to mildly pornographic content”, two of the other three contain lists of links (although there’s no evidence that any of these are still live). One contains an image depicting “mild nudity of a young woman”
  • Somehow this makes anyone running a full Bitcoin node a criminal guilty of possession and distribution of child pornography

All these claims however are baseless. These links in themselves do not have nay pornogrpahic contents and the developers too have clarified this. Next, the researchers have not given any blockchain in their claims which makes it difficult to validate whatever they have said.

Child pornography is regulated in thousand different ways across thousand different borders, hence for the reference of this article we’ll consider the laws and regulations of the USA. According to the child pornography law of the USA, “you must knowingly possesses any image that contains child pornography, and the image moved interstate commerce or was made by items that moved in interstate commerce”.

The issue here comes when:

  • We see that there is no actual child on the blockchain, as the court demands proof that the figure shown is of an actual child
  • Second, all the minors are aware of child pornogrpahy and what is to be shown online and what not.

With the progress in technology, the problems have only increased. MOst of the time, the use of photoshop makes a 18 year old look even younger and because of reasons like these the court demand identity of the victims, which again creates several other issues.

Despite the ludicrousness of some of the claims surrounding child pornography on the blockchain, its immutability does cause other issues. Namely compliance with another law known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). GDPR is a regulation which aims to give users back control of there data. It also raises a few issues which are relevant to the blockchain.

GDPR is the rising issue which not just Bitcoin, but every cryptocurrency will soon be facing. GDPR basically deals with the “data for which the original purpose has been served” or “the data which has the withdraw consent”.
This means that EU citizens can file “right to be forgotten requests” and organizations must delete their data. This is a huge problem in blockchain applications.

GDPR is a smart processor. Under it, every miner is a data processor who is bound to delete any personal data on request of the individual, as stated by the law. Bitcoin and Bitcoin cash are publicly held blockchains, no one “owns” them so in theory, no one can be accountable for GDPR compliance. This is not the case for blockchains started by a corporation, which are in a legally ambiguous area.

Companies have to take care of these situations, especially the one which are concerned with bitcoins and cryptos because GDPR will become an issue which no country and its financial ministry will let go off easily as it provides them hold over this regulation.


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Tags: Bitcoin Cash problem in blockchain applications

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