SHANGHAI, May 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The rollout of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is just around the corner, with the enforcement date cutting close and set to start in less than two weeks on May 25, 2018. GDPR has been viewed by regulators, analysts, and technology practitioners in Europe and worldwide as a force that will change how the consumer data landscape, B2C space, and consumer internet will move forward. GDPR consists of several sets of strict rules surrounding consumer data protection, but the basic components of GDPR include 1) rules and protocols surrounding the consent, processing, and storage of consumer data and 2) rights of consumers over their data, including access and erasure. Enforcement will be within the European Union and for any enterprises that are doing business within Europe or with European consumers.
The implications of GDPR are significant, both in terms of business transformation as well as financially - companies have started implementation of GDPR compliance protocols but most are not GDPR-ready in terms of a comprehensive rulebook checklist. It is even more problematic for internet companies with business models surrounding consumer data, who are forced to make drastic changes to their product and operations or else be prepared to close shop in Europe. Violation can be expensive - depending on the violation and the company, penalties can be up to 25 million Euros or 4% of annual revenue.
It is also expected that there will be an increasing amount of innovation surrounding technical solutions to enterprises for facilitating GDPR compliance and consumer data privacy. One of the most innovative solutions that is already taking on pilot enterprise users globally to tackle a series of problems surrounding consumer data privacy, trust, and customer relationship management is a blockchain platform named APEX Network. APEX Network is a public blockchain platform spun off of Shanghai-based APEX Technologies (formerly known as Chinapex). APEX Technologies is a data technology company focused on solving difficult problems surrounding customer data management using emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain, and has over 350 mid to large size enterprise and brand customers as well as over 100 employees across Shanghai, Beijing, and Silicon Valley offices.
The solution that the APEX blockchain provides surrounding consumer data management and privacy utilizes a hybrid on-chain and off-chain approach. APEX Network provides enterprises a smart contract functionality with built-in consumer data management protocol called ATDM (APEX Transactional Data Management), which will be easily embeddable within existing applications and customer touchpoints to facilitate consumer consent, identity management, access control, and data encryption. Consumers are able to manage their own data and profiles across applications and store the data securely and anonymously in the cloud. This is done by ATDM routing data records from the blockchain into a DHT (Distributed Hash Table) Cloud, where consumer data is encrypted using their own private keys. The management at APEX Technologies also hinted that the plan is to have APEX Network investors and communities participate in hosting the DHT Cloud nodes, in which incentives are highly likely through data transaction fees.
APEX Network is the first of its kind to use decentralized technology and enable consumers to retain ownership and control over their data, and at the same time it helps enterprises easily embed protocols that provides turnkey compliance to GDPR. "We are excited with the potential our technology will bring to the B2C landscape amidst this game-changing consumer data paradigm shift. We are not in a hurry to foster widespread enterprise adoption, but will start first with the pilot program in Q4 of this year with a select number of participants. Blockchain for us is a long-term endeavor, and we are ready and have the technical resources and manpower to provide support once we are ready to scale up rapidly," says APEX Technologies Founder and CEO Jimmy Hu. According to Microsoft Accelerator Shanghai's CEO James Chou, who is an early advisor and supporter of APEX Network, "The team at APEX Technologies is creating innovative technologies that are solving pain points in the B2C ecosystem during a wave of trends that are about to change the landscape for the better. Consumer data protection and GDPR are here to stay, and I think the team capitalized on these in a rather timely manner."