Revolutionizing Data Accountability Through Immutable Tracking

Data producers and consumers need to understand and control their usage of said data, especially in the finance and entertainment industries

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The data industry has grown in leaps and bounds over the last ten years or so. When it will slow down, nobody knows. There is an opportunity for innovation and tech-based solutions with this much growth. Both data producers and consumers need to understand and control their usage of said data, especially in the finance and entertainment industries. While the current status quo works, it could always be made more efficient especially as a large amount of data still moves over older technology such as SFTP. When done right, producers can monetize data use, while consumers can zero in on exactly the data they want, without paying for what they don't want or having to endure costly audits.

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A look from the top down

"Data, like other software applications, has network effects," said the Chief Data Officer of Bitvore, Gregory Bolcer. "The more data from more diverse sources you put together, and understanding how they correlate, the more value you can extract. Yet many content publishers don't understand the value of the data they already have, and are both resistant to change and hugely protective of their data. The issues around content distribution and decentralization didn't have a solution until recently."

While many top professionals in the finance and entertainment industries don't realize how they can optimize data tracking, a small handful do and are in the forefront of changing the way data moves and is being accounted for. They are looking forward rather than resting on their laurels.

There is an obvious need for new technology to help people keep their data more secure, says Elliot Banks, Chief Product Officer of BMLL Technologies. "As a FinTech, we're not averse to utilizing the latest technologies and tools to help make our product as secure and as available as possible. From our side, we see data security and ease of data management as a priority for our customers and we continue to leverage technologies to achieve this. Any tools that make the signup and licensing agreement process more straightforward — a process that we think will continue to remain a critical topic — is going to be hugely valuable from a security and entitlement perspective."

Of particular importance to this novel approach to data is the idea that the data be immutable. This refers to the concept that data can't and shouldn't be discarded when new data replaces it — such as how medical databases will generally keep a complete record concerning a patient's health history.

For Dirk Anderson, Chief Information Officer of the loan platform, SALT Lending, it's all about data integrity. "Immutability has integrity — it gives you that assurance that the data you're looking at is accurate, and that it's what was there in the first place. While decentralization isn't required for immutability, it definitely helps. In our context, KYC and AML data is frequently audited and one of the most restricted data types from a privacy perspective. A blockchain-based approach can help answer two main questions: how do we create pathways for data to flow and be analyzed in a way where it can be trusted, and how do we prevent the wrong people from accessing it?"

"A major problem for any organization, regardless of size, is knowing where non-public and sensitive data reside within your data ecosystem," said Dirce Hernandez, vice-chair of the FS-ISAC Insider Threat Working Group. "If you have a foolproof method of making sure that the data you're reporting is accurate, validated, and true — and can prove it — it's going to be great for your business. It reduces your liability for data breaches, or bad intent, or data misuse. It does this not just by shifting responsibility, but also by making sure that at any given point you can lock down your data and account for how it's being represented and identified."

There is room for improvement in industries other than finance and technology, too. Take the entertainment industry, for example. "When you work on a movie for 4 years like Dune, you start to understand why the industry needs a better tool that can provide greater security, access control and immutable logging," opined Cody Lassiter, former Content Protection Executive at Legendary.

Of course, transparency and other issues can be a challenge for producers and consumers, both. Armin Kech, Head Data Governance at MBC Group addresses that. "One major challenge for every company is having transparency over its Data Assets. Like many others, we are a fragmented enterprise, with many departments and entities resulting in data silos. This makes it very challenging to receive a 360-degree view of our data, or understand, for example, what kind of data we have in our landscape, and how this data flows throughout our enterprise - the data lineage. Knowing the data flows is particularly important when it comes to international transfer of Personal Data. Data Protection regulations across the globe pay a great attention on data transfer across international borders. Therefore, being able to ensure traceability — by usage, and not as a flat subscription — makes perfect sense."

Tractiv was founded by Drew Orsinger, SpaceX's former Chief Security Officer, to create trust between two parties with regard to controlling and exchanging proprietary data by harnessing the power of immutable data. Their proven technology enables immutable tracing and data delivery for data providers, and empowers data consumers with the ability to understand where and how their purchased data is used. Through instantly distributing, receiving, and processing data, Tractiv have not only made a huge step towards creating a more efficient and accountable data ecosystem, but also developed a reputation for driving concrete results for their clients, including better benchmark tracking, cost savings, and increased revenue.