Presented by
Sabine Bertram

Nominated by
University of Cape Town

 

Registree builds a privacy-preserving system for data ownership using the Ethereum blockchain and distributed databases. Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionise the way data is stored, used, and processed. However, as data on the blockchain can typically be viewed by every node hosting the blockchain, blockchains cannot handle private data. Decentralised databases exist that guarantee privacy by encrypting user data, but this prevents data sharing altogether.  In many applications, from student data to medical records, it is, however, desirable that user data is anonymously searchable. Existing solutions thus involve a trade-off between data ownership, privacy, and searchability. Registree distinguishes itself from competitors by providing a system which achieves these three goals simultaneously. Registree currently applies their system architecture to university data, and will move to medical records in the future. Using Registree’s platform, third parties can interact with anonymised data while the owners of the data choose whether to share their identifying information with these third parties. In the case of university data, students can interact with third parties, like employers, and share their verified academic information seamlessly and securely. Their system never collects data, but rather provides and facilitates data services, thus returning ownership of data back to users.

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