A new research lab, set to be built at the UK’s Edinburgh Napier University, is expected to explore the ways in which blockchain technology can protect users’ personal data online, according to an April 25 announcement.
The laboratory will be built at the university’s Merchiston campus as part of a USD 827,130 collaboration between the university and Hong Kong’s Blockpass, a blockchain based, self-sovereign identity protocol for the connected world. The three-year project will see the creation of the Blockpass Identity Lab and includes funding for research staff, PhD students and a virtualized blockchain environment.
Blockpass says it is using blockchain technology to develop an identity verification platform. As data breach scandals at companies like Equifax, Yahoo and Uber highlight the risks of centralizing the storage of user data, Blockpass is using blockchain technology to develop alternatives that give users control of their identity and allow them to choose who can access their personal data, a statement explained.
“The creation of this lab in conjunction with Edinburgh Napier University will provide a space where further research and innovation can lead that discussion to newer and more advanced grounds,” said Blockpass Chief Marketing Officer Hans Lombardo.
One focus of the lab will be to establish innovative, citizen-focused systems that preserve the right to privacy.
“The world is changing and cryptography is now being used to fix many of the problems we have created on the internet. It can now help create a better society, with the citizen at its core,” stated Professor Bill Buchanan of Edinburgh Napier’s School of Computing, who is also the director of the Lab. “We aim to contribute to the building of a new world, based on blockchain. Whether it is health and well-being, or the changing of our public services, it is likely to be blockchain methods that will provide the foundation for the future.”