European insurers adopt blockchain technology to protect data

Blockchain start-up Stratumn has partnered with 14 European insurance providers to trial a scheme intended to help organisations comply with data protection laws.

According to a press release from Stratumn, the scheme was designed to help streamline the notification process in the context of France’s Hamon Law, but it will also help organisations comply with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

How does blockchain help?

Stratumn says that its scheme combines two technologies:

  • Blockchain technology, which “provides a shared and secure data repository to all stakeholders while reducing dependency on trusted third parties. Insurers can rely on the Proof of Process Technology to arrive at a consensus about the existence, nature, and evolution of a process”.
  • Advanced cryptography, which “guarantees privacy and confidentiality of all process data, and limits information disclosure to the strict minimum required to complete the cancellation process”.

This isn’t a new concept. In 2016, PricewaterhouseCoopers wrote a report on blockchain technology and the insurance industry that said: “The potential for blockchain to deliver substantial value to financial services is enormous.

“Not only does blockchain offer the promise of cost reduction and efficiency, but it could also enable revenue growth, as insurers attract new business through higher-quality service.

“Blockchain technologies can help the wholesale insurance sector fulfil its role in underpinning the global economy more effectively. Just as blockchain is being pursued as a force for positive change in other areas of society – from identification for refugees to better public service delivery – it can also help wholesale insurance to discharge its responsibilities for the common good.”

Preparing for the GDPR

Time will tell if Stratumn’s proof of process technology is effective, but it’s not something organisations should rely on – particularly when it comes to GDPR preparations. The outcome of the trial will come too late for organisations to implement the technology before the compliance deadline of 25 May 2018, so Stratumn’s technology should be viewed as a potential improvement on existing compliance measures.

Those who are unsure of what they need to do to comply with the Regulation should read EU GDPR – A Pocket Guide.

Written by Alan Calder, the founder and executive chairman of IT Governance, this guide is the ideal resource for anyone who wants a clear primer on the principles of data protection and their obligations under the GDPR. It helps you understand the terms and definitions used in the Regulation, the key compliance requirements and how to meet them.

Find out more about EU GDPR – A Pocket Guide >>

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