The Internet Computer provides GDPR-Ready Infrastructure with the launch of European Subnet

34 2 The Internet Computer provides GDPR-Ready Infrastructure with the launch of European Subnet

ZURICH, Dec. 18, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The DFINITY Foundation (“DFINITY”), a Swiss not-for-profit research and development organization and a major contributor to the Internet Computer Blockchain (“ICP”), today announced that a European subnet has launched on ICP, providing General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)-aligned infrastructure for decentralized applications (dApps). With this new infrastructure, developers on the subnet now have access to a suite of tools that can be leveraged to release dApps in the European market that protect personal and financial data under stringent and established regulator practices.

Dominic Williams, Founder and Chief Scientist of DFINITY, commented, “The Internet Computer enables full-stack decentralization. The NNS DAO controlling the network has created an internal subnet that exclusively combines nodes located in Europe, allowing web3 builders to create GDPR-compliant online services and applications. Web3 builders can now create innovative and compliant decentralized experiences that benefit millions of users in the EU and beyond.”

On the Internet Computer network, a subnet operates as a collection of nodes that run the same computations, hold the same data, and are set in the same state. The European subnet is the first subnet of its kind on the Internet Computer and is geographically bounded, meaning that all the nodes in the subnet are located within the EU. This ensures data is processed and stored within the EU to align with GDPR’s jurisdictional requirements. The European subnet also provides the platform with the tamperproof infrastructure necessary to build GDPR-compliant applications, as it enables the following features:

  • State on the Internet Computer is not public: Unlike traditional blockchains, where all data is visible to everyone, the Internet Computer allows developers to choose whether to make their data public or private. Private data is encrypted and can only be accessed by authorized parties.
  • Data amendment and deletion are possible: The Internet Computer supports data mutability, meaning developers can update or delete data as needed. This allows them to comply with GDPR’s right to rectification and right to erasure principles.
  • Dapps have full data and access control: The Internet Computer allows developers to implement their own data protection and privacy policies, as well as to manage user consent and preferences. Developers can also use canister smart contracts, autonomous software units that run on the Internet Computer, to enforce data security and integrity.
  • decentralized network, where node providers go through a rigorous vetting process before being voted in by token holders: The Internet Computer is governed by the Network Nervous System (NNS), a decentralized algorithmic authority that oversees the network’s operations and evolution. The NNS is responsible for admitting new node providers to the network, as well as assigning them to subnets.

In addition to the above features, there are two upcoming features on the Internet Computer that will enable developers to further enhance the privacy and security of user data within the regulation of GDPR and the European subnet:

  • VetKeys, currently under development, will allow distributed decryption, where no single node holds the complete decryption key. This approach enhances data security, preventing unauthorized access.
  • AMD SEV-SNP, launching later in 2024, aims to secure the boundary node Virtual Machine (VM), isolating it from potential external threats. This technology creates a digital boundary around data, ensuring that all node machines within the European subnet are shielded from all unauthorized access, keeping data secure and highly confidential.

The launch of the European subnet follows the approval of three proposals submitted by DFINITY to the NNS, which was approved by 99% of ICP token holders who participated in the voting process. The European subnet is now live and available to EU-based developers ready to create GDPR dApps on the Internet Computer. Developers and enterprises who are interested in deploying their applications on the European subnet can visit the DFINITY developer forum for more information and guidance.

About the Internet Computer:

The Internet Computer Protocol (ICP) is a decentralized cloud 3.0 protocol that allows developers to build and run services and enterprise systems directly on a public, blockchain network with unprecedented scalability. Services running on top of ICP are tamper-proof and can negatively interact with the outside world in a trustless manner, both with traditional web 2.0 services and with other blockchains. The fast, low-cost, and energy-efficient protocol establishes a new paradigm for how a decentralized network truly operates in web3.

About the DFINITY Foundation:

The DFINITY Foundation is a not-for-profit organization of leading cryptographers, computer scientists, and experts in distributed computing. With a mission to shift cloud computing into a fully decentralized state, the Foundation leveraged its experience to create the Internet Computer and currently operates as a major contributor to the network.

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