Is it possible to comply with GDPR using blockchain?

Author: Olly Jackson | Published: 2 May 2018

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), due to come into force on May 25, could put the brakes on the rapid progress of blockchain. While GDPR has disrupted the business models of all different types of companies in different sectors, companies relying on blockchain or distributed ledger technology more generally (DLT) could be the ones to suffer the most. Nevertheless, there are ways to reconcile the two but it requires companies to be inventive.

Hogan Lovells partner John Salmon said while it is difficult to reconcile GDPR and blockchain, it is not impossible.

"The right to be forgotten is not an absolute right: there is a legitimate interest test that if satisfied, means that the right does not apply," he said.

Companies also have the option of choosing a legal ground other than consent, such as legitimate interest, which would make it easier to comply with GDPR while using blockchain. This is...