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Towards the decentralisation of personal data through blockchains and linked data

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A talk at the University of Bonn Computer Science Colloquium. It covers how distributed ledgers (blockchains) combined with decentralised linked data technologies such as Solid can support the management of personal data avoiding the issues highlighted in the media around for example, Facebook and Cambridge Analytica.


1. https://www.informatik.uni-bonn.de/de/kolloquium/2018ws/towards-the-decentralisation-of-personal-data-through-blockchains-and-linked-data

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Towards the decentralisation of personal data through blockchains and linked data

  1. 1. Towards the Decentralisation of Personal Data through Blockchains & Linked Data Prof. John Domingue (@johndmk) Director, Knowledge Media Institute, the Open University, UK http://kmi.open.ac.uk/ http://blockchain.open.ac.uk/
  2. 2. Outline • Motivation • Linked Data and Knowledge Graphs • Blockchains • LinkChains • Educational experiments at the OU • Summary
  3. 3. Motivation
  4. 4. “We demonstrated that the Web had failed instead of served humanity, as it was supposed to have done, and failed in many places,” he told me. The increasing centralization of the Web, he says, has “ended up producing—with no deliberate action of the people who designed the platform—a large-scale emergent phenomenon which is anti-human.”
  5. 5. "deeply personal … weaponised against us with military efficiency"
  6. 6. Data https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/28/all-the-data-facebook-google-has-on-you-privacy • 5.5 GB • Everywhere you’ve been • Everything you’ve ever searched (and deleted) • Advertisement profile • All the apps you use • All your YouTube history
  7. 7. Thin Files and Data Poor 7
  8. 8. Self Sovereign Identity 8
  9. 9. Linked Data and Knowledge Graphs
  10. 10. Linked Data
  11. 11. May 2007 12 datasets 20 links Linked Data
  12. 12. June 2018 1,224 datasets 16,113 links Maintained by John P. McCrae for the Insight Centre for Data Analytics
  13. 13. 13
  14. 14. 14
  15. 15. Amsterdam 15 Adapted from https://www.ambiverse.com/knowledge-graphs-encyclopaedias-for-machines/ using data from http://lookup.dbpedia.org/api/search.asmx/KeywordSearch?QueryClass=place&QueryString=amsterdam
  16. 16. Blockchains
  17. 17. Blockchain 17 World Economic Forum Survey Projects Blockchain ‘Tipping Point’ by 2023 Santander: Blockchain Tech Can Save Banks $20 Billion a Year
  18. 18. Everledger www.everledger.io
  19. 19. https://www.docusign.com/blog/the-future-of-car-leasing-is-as-easy-as-click-sign-drive/
  20. 20. http://motherboard.vice.com/read/transactive-grid-ethereum-brooklyn-microgrid
  21. 21. Ledgers
  22. 22. Cryptographic Hash Function https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptographic_hash_function
  23. 23. Blockchain = an Immutable Linked List
  24. 24. Blockchain = an Immutable Linked List
  25. 25. Proof of Work • Find x such that f(nonce + x) < t (cryptographic hash) "Hello, world!0" => 1312af178c253f84028d480a6adc1e25e81caa44c749ec81976192e2ec934c64 "Hello, world!1" => e9afc424b79e4f6ab42d99c81156d3a17228d6e1eef4139be78e948a9332a7d8 "Hello, world!2" => ae37343a357a8297591625e7134cbea22f5928be8ca2a32aa475cf05fd4266b7 ... "Hello, world!4248" => 6e110d98b388e77e9c6f042ac6b497cec46660deef75a55ebc7cfdf65cc0b965 "Hello, world!4249" => c004190b822f1669cac8dc37e761cb73652e7832fb814565702245cf26ebb9e6 "Hello, world!4250" => 0000c3af42fc31103f1fdc0151fa747ff87349a4714df7cc52ea464e12dcd4e9
  26. 26. Proof of Work • Hard to outpace the entire rest of the network… a 51% attack could do it, but otherwise it is like buying thousands of lottery tickets – doesn’t help you that much! Source: Marc Eisenstadt ‘What is the genius behind Bitcoin’
  27. 27. BitCoin Mining http://knkx.org/post/central-wash-home-nations-biggest-bitcoin-mine-more-coming
  28. 28. Consensus Mechanisms (1/6)
  29. 29. Consensus Mechanisms (2/6)
  30. 30. Consensus Mechanisms (3/6)
  31. 31. Consensus Mechanisms (4/6)
  32. 32. Consensus Mechanisms (5/6)
  33. 33. Consensus Mechanisms (6/6)
  34. 34. http://ethdocs.org/en/latest/account-management.html Every account is defined by a pair of keys, a private key and public key A keyfile holds encoded key pair data as JSON with the private key encrypted with a user given password Accounts are indexed by their address which is derived from the public key by taking the last 20 bytes Accounts use public key cryptography to sign transaction. Ethereum External Accounts
  35. 35. Ethereum Virtual Machine Sources: Ethereum Development Tutorial The Ethereum Virtual Machine can be thought of as a large decentralized computer containing millions of objects, called "accounts", which have the ability to maintain an internal database, execute code and talk to each other. There are 2 types of Accounts: Externally owned account (EOA): an account controlled by a private key that has the ability to send ether and messages from it. ‘Smart’ Contract: an account that has its own code, and is controlled by code. Any user can trigger an action by sending a transaction from an EOA, setting Ethereum's wheels in motion. If the destination of the transaction is another EOA, then the transaction may transfer some ether but otherwise does nothing However, if the destination is a ‘Smart’ Contract, then the contract in turn activates, and automatically runs its code.
  36. 36. LinkChains
  37. 37. Decentralized web apps share access to data stores
  38. 38. Different app and storage providers compete independently
  39. 39. Linked Data Platform (LDP) defines a set of rules for HTTP operations on web resources, some based on RDF, to provide an architecture for read-write Linked Data on the web.
  40. 40. contract ERC721 { // ERC20 compatible functions function name() constant returns (string name); function symbol() constant returns (string symbol); function totalSupply() constant returns (uint256 totalSupply); function balanceOf(address _owner) constant returns (uint balance); // Functions that define ownership function ownerOf(uint256 _tokenId) constant returns (address owner); function approve(address _to, uint256 _tokenId); function takeOwnership(uint256 _tokenId); function transfer(address _to, uint256 _tokenId); function tokenOfOwnerByIndex(address _owner, uint256 _index) constant returns (uint tokenId); // Token metadata function tokenMetadata(uint256 _tokenId) constant returns (string infoUrl); // Events event Transfer(address indexed _from, address indexed _to, uint256 _tokenId); event Approval(address indexed _owner, address indexed _approved, uint256 _tokenId); }
  41. 41. LinkChain Components SOLID Personal Data Pod Web/Mobile Application or Client Private data soley under user control User controlled read/write access
  42. 42. LinkChain Components SOLID Personal Data Pod Decentralised data storage Web/Mobile Application or Client Private data soley under user control Public and private data User controlled read/write access Public and private data storage and access
  43. 43. LinkChain Components SOLID Personal Data Pod Decentralised data storage Web/Mobile Application or Client Private data soley under user control Public and private data Decentralised ledger and ‘global computer’ User controlled read/write access Public and private data storage and access Recording, Verification and Asset Transfer
  44. 44. Educational experiments at the OU
  45. 45. The Open University 2
  46. 46. OpenLearn
  47. 47. Student Controlled Education
  48. 48. Microcredentials
  49. 49. Open Badge 2.0 https://medium.com/openbadges/open-badges-2-0-b7f67d2c3191
  50. 50. OpenLearn Badges on the blockchain
  51. 51. Demos of movies available at: http://blockchain.open.ac.uk/ Peer Reputation and Badging
  52. 52. Reputation Contract Functions: Storage: sendReputation getPersonBalance() getReputationAttribute attribs[address = > Attrib] Attrib { uint balanceOf; mapping(string => uint); string[] attribStrings } Reputation Attribute token Balances Reputation Smart Contract Tokens left to assign My Reputation Peer Reputation Page Kevin’s Reputation View Communication: 14 Collaboration: 06 Organisation: 12 Ethics: 05 Problem Solving: 10 Engagement: 04 your Ethereum address password to private key Signing this transaction will transfer stated Reputation Tokens + ETH gas payment from your account. Estimated gas cost is 0.02 ETH. Maximum gas cost is set to 0.05 ETH Transfer Reputation Tokens Left: 57 number of tokens to transfer Assign Reputation My Reputation Peer Reputation Page Michelle’s Reputation View Communication: 06 Collaboration: 02 Organisation: 10 Ethics: 12 Problem Solving: 08 Engagement: 16 your Ethereum address password to private key Signing this transaction will transfer stated Reputation Tokens + ETH gas payment from your account. Estimated gas cost is 0.02 ETH. Maximum gas cost is set to 0.05 ETH Transfer Reputation Tokens Left: 68 number of tokens to transfer Assign Reputation Signed TX Reputation Attribute token Balances Tokens left to assign Michelle transfers 4 Reputation tokens for ‘Organisation’ to Kevin
  53. 53. Michelle transfers 4 Reputation tokens for ‘Organisation’ to Kevin
  54. 54. Michelle transfers 4 Reputation tokens for ‘Organisation’ to Kevin
  55. 55. Block no: 45566778 Michelle transfers 4 Reputation tokens for ‘Organisation’ to Kevin
  56. 56. Michelle transfers 4 Reputation tokens for ‘Organisation’ to Kevin
  57. 57. Michelle transfers 4 Reputation tokens for ‘Organisation’ to Kevin
  58. 58. Michelle transfers 4 Reputation tokens for ‘Organisation’ to Kevin
  59. 59. Michelle transfers 4 Reputation tokens for ‘Organisation’ to Kevin
  60. 60. Michelle transfers 4 Reputation tokens for ‘Organisation’ to Kevin
  61. 61. Michelle transfers 4 Reputation tokens for ‘Organisation’ to Kevin
  62. 62. Active Badges
  63. 63. Rise of the Uber University
  64. 64. Uber-style Teaching
  65. 65. LinkChain Components SOLID Personal Data Pod Decentralised data storage Web/Mobile Application or Client Private data soley under user control Public and private data Decentralised ledger and ‘global computer’ User controlled read/write access Public and private data storage and access Recording, Verification and Asset Transfer
  66. 66. Learning Record IPFS IPFS IPFSIPFS LinkChain Components Solid Personal Data Pod IPFS decentralised data storage Token Metadata incl. Student Solid URLs Signed token metadata URL and badge issuing contracts Students access and update learning achievements Storing and retrieving token metadata Badge issuing and badge issuing rights
  67. 67. Closing Comments and Summary
  68. 68. Global Higher and Further Education Blockchain
  69. 69. Startups in the CV/Accreditation Space
  70. 70. instituteofcoding.org
  71. 71. Europass2 Digitally Signed Credentials
  72. 72. Summary: Managing Private Data • Societal and technical motivations for moving to decentralized platforms • Blockchains provide a mechanism for adding decentralized trust to decentralized data stores • Semantic approaches can aid with indexing and interoperability
  73. 73. Summary: Benefits for Education • Inbuilt identity management • Data controlled/owned by learners rather than any single institution • Increases transparency • Reduces risk of fraud • Supports automation • Permits disintermediation • Lowering of process costs – Lowers entry barriers to education market – ‘university of one’
  74. 74. Acknowledgements • KMi@OU Implementation Team – Michelle Bachler – Kevin Quick – Allan Third – Chris Valentine – Umar Mir – Zeeshan Jan – Manoharan Ramachandran
  75. 75. blockchain.open.ac.uk

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