Anne Toth – Head of Data Policy, World Economic Forum LLC, explains that data-protection rights are enshrined in European law, however making them actionable has not been simple. Adding complexity to the task is the fact that technology has a habit of changing quickly. It’s well known that technology often leapfrogs ahead of existing regulatory frameworks, leaving legislators and regulators to play catch-up.
She writes that while European policymakers were debating and finalizing aspects of GDPR, blockchain wasn’t on most people’s radar. This is yet another example of where regulation is addressing a problem in the rear view mirror rather than looking at the road ahead. This is the nature of most traditional regulation and illustrates how quickly technology shifts, pivots and morphs at a speed much greater than laws and regulations are designed to move. In this case, while we wait for the rules to play catch up, the question we have to ask is whether existing blockchain applications that store personal data are now rendered illegal in Europe until this is sorted.