Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Computer Science

First Advisor

Perouli, Debbie

Second Advisor

Ahamed, Iqbal

Third Advisor

Brylow, Dennis

Abstract

Policies and regulations, such as the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR), have been enforced to protect personal data from abuse during storage and processing. We design and implement a prototype scheme that could 1) provide a public ledger of policy compliance to help the public make informative decisions when choosing data services; 2) provide support to the organizations for identifying violations and improve their ability of compliance. Honest organizations could then benefit from their positive records on the public ledger. To address the scalability problem inherent in the Blockchain-based systems, we develop algorithms and leverage state channels to implement an on-chain-hash-off-chain data structure. We identify the verification of the information from the external world as a critical problem when using Blockchains as public ledgers, and address this problem by the incentive-based trust model implied by state channels. We propose the Verifiable Off-Chain Message Channel as the integrated solution for leveraging blockchain technology as a general-purpose recording mechanism and support our thesis with performance experiments. Finally, we suggest a sticky policy mechanism as the evidence source for the public ledger to monitor cross-boundary policy compliance.

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