5 Issues with Private Data that Can Be Solved With Accumulate

Written by Drew Mailen

On December 28, 2021

Over the last decade, our world has become increasingly data-driven, and data is being produced at a staggering rate. This has led to tremendous gains for our society and an ability to make strategic data-driven decisions, but also has led to issues with private data – ranging from reliability to ownership to massive hacks and the theft of private data belonging to millions if not billions of people. 

Rooted in validating identity and key management, Accumulate Network is a universal interconnected protocol that works interoperably across Web 2 and Web 3 addresses from layer 1 blockchains, to enterprise tech stacks, to websites. With Accumulate, many issues with private data can be mitigated. Accumulate’s blockchain aims to mitigate many issues found across private data today. 

Not Reliable 

One major issue with private data is data reliability. Data reliability is the overall availability, accuracy, and consistency of data throughout the data life cycle. It also refers to the data’s regulatory compliance. Data engineers and site-reliance engineers know that it is not a question of if software and data pipelines are going to go down, it is a matter of when they are going to crash or encounter a bug. System errors like these can lead to site downtime and even the loss of data, which cost businesses 1.7 trillion dollars annually.

With the Accumulate protocol, data loss is impossible. The blockchain is immutable and distributed across many nodes, meaning that system failure or malicious actors cannot delete or corrupt data. Since the data in the blockchain is stored across many nodes, if one or even multiple servers hosting the blockchain become compromised or crash, the data will still be available on other nodes distributed across Accumulate’s blockchain. 

Too Centralized 

Centralized data poses a greater risk of becoming compromised by a catastrophic event or malicious attacker. If a malicious actor compromises a centralized data center, anonymous private data stored on that centralized data server can be combined with other datasets. Once combined, a person’s identity can be exposed along with other critical information like social security and credit card numbers. 

Additionally, suppose data is stored in one location as it most often is now. In that case, a natural disaster such as a hurricane could take the data center offline, making it impossible for any system reliant on that data to operate. Not to mention that centralized data centers require more processing power, making them more expensive to run than their decentralized counterparts. 

Accumulate’s blockchain is decentralized and stored across multiple nodes, meaning that data stored on Accumulate will never become unavailable due to natural disasters. If one or even many nodes were compromised, the data contained in those nodes would still be available elsewhere on the network. 

No User-Control

Currently, one major issue with private data is that private companies own a user’s data and can do with it as they wish. This means that websites and apps collect your data and sell it to third parties, which can have disastrous results (e.g., such as the Equifax data breach where 147 million Americans had their data stolen – that’s nearly half of the country!) Many of these Americans had never even heard of Equifax when their private data was stolen from its servers. 

Many startups are now building applications on the blockchain with the goal of giving users ownership of their data. Datawallet is building an application to give users transparency into what kind of data is being collected about them, and opt-in and control how this data is being used. MedicalChain is aiming to allow users to own their complete medical record and share it with health professionals or researchers at their discretion. 

User-first applications, such as those listed above, built on the Accumulate blockchain have an added advantage of user-friendly, human-readable Accumulate Digital Identifiers. Users can easily share and manage on-chain data with readable text strings rather than a typical transaction ID or address. 

Accumulate is Built With Security In Mind

One of the biggest concerns with private data is data leaks, where malicious actors gain access to a user’s private data, such as passwords and credit card numbers, and use it for profit. Accumulate was designed with top-notch security in mind to minimize these types of attacks. Additionally, Accumulate was built to comply with security best practices such as key rotation, which I’ll talk about more in a moment. 

Lack of Security Compliance 

One issue which other blockchains may struggle with is existing enterprise security compliance around private data. One common example of enterprise security compliance is creating a key rotation strategy that alleviates an issue known as key exhaustion. Key exhaustion is a serious issue where overuse of a key could lead to a malicious attacker gaining insight into the data it is protecting or the key itself. As a way to avoid key exhaustion, companies often have security protocols where they rotate keys they use to protect private data. 

Building technologies to support key rotation can be difficult with a traditional blockchain. However, Accumulate associates a hierarchical set of keys with each ADI– the protocol can easily set up this framework to fit in with common enterprise key rotation schemes or existing practices. This strategy leads to more security for private data and keeps hackers out. 

In Conclusion 

The developers of Accumulate also looked at common vulnerabilities in blockchain and developed solutions such as removing scripting signatures, 51% attacks, and creating an on-chain space for communication between parties managing multi-signature transactions to minimize security vulnerabilities. This, plus the added security of decentralized data storage, makes Accumulate a brilliant choice for protecting private data. 

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