A new research paper released by market analysis and advisory firm IDC Government Insights (International Data Corporation) provides evidence for the use case of blockchains as a secure way to store, time stamp, and efficiently audit data.
IDC: Blockchain Could Make Government Records More ‘Secure and Transparent’
The report, The Blockchain Audit Trail: Helping to Establish Government “Data Authority” and Information Accuracy, was specifically intended to be a market report for government uses for the blockchain. According to the report, it’s possible that blockchain technologies could be a key tool for confirming data origin and accuracy, tracking updates, and establishing true data authority for millions of different data fields.
One of the report’s main findings is the blockchain’s ability to track and store government records in a secure and transparent manner, helping to improve the authenticity of the documents. The blockchain would be able to track records by confirming their existence in a block — where other entries related to those activities can be found through a shared record that is both immutable and hack-resistant.
IDC Government Insights research director Shawn McCarthy has this to say about the blockchain:
“At a time when IT security, information accuracy, and reliability are of paramount importance to government, blockchain is seen by many as a potentially powerful tool for IT managers. It can help create a structure for government to reduce fraud and boost security, especially when it comes to data tampering”
The IDC report says that the blockchain capabilities could improve government functions such as digital voting, land registries, patent, copyright and trademark issues, even mentioning smart contracts associated with Internet of Things solutions.
There were 3 main areas of focus in the IDC’s research on the blockchain: data authority, data accuracy, and access control.
- Data authority – Such authority, not only where each piece of data comes from, but also who has authority over it (related to accuracy, changes, and lifecycle management), and where the ultimate authoritative copy of that data resides.
- Data accuracy – Accuracy is a key component of data quality. Accuracy means that data values stored for any object are correct, that they represent the right value, and that they are consistent in form and content.
- Access control – Blockchain solutions can help keep track of what information is public versus private. This can include details on the data itself, the transaction related to the data, and who is allowed to make updates to data records.
According to the IDC report, the government will be experimenting with the blockchain going forward to test its functionality in those 3 areas of concern. They will conduct a series of tests to prove the worth of the blockchain as a concept, and to determine where and when they can specifically apply the technology to discover which ways they will be able to leverage the blockchain’s capabilities.
What do you think of the findings of the IDC Report? Do you think the government can meaningfully take advantage of the blockchain? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Crypto-Graphics, IDC.