Late last year, the personal information of 31 million Android users was exposed thanks to a popular keyboard app. The app, AI.type, stored this data on a server owned by the company’s co-founder, rather than on a secure server. The information contained everything from names and emails, to exact locations, web searches and IP addresses. This incident was one of the many 2017 breaches that shared a common thread – the exposed data was stored on a single, centralized server.
Unsecure centralized servers act as easy targets for hackers looking to access sensitive information in bulk, and AI platforms and other services hoarding millions of users’ private data that rely on these systems will continue to experience breaches. This reliance is driving the need to shift to a decentralized approach where AI can digest large amounts of information and then distribute that data to multiple devices as opposed to a single database or entity.
The bitcoin frenzy has shifted attention to blockchain technology and its decentralized nature. Blockchain is increasingly becoming an accepted method for enabling users to share information and conduct transactions freely and securely. Currently, Walmart’s food safety solution has been working with IBM’s Blockchain Platform to bring transparency and efficiency to food supply chains, starting in China. Google’s Deep Mind is also utilizing blockchain to encourage transparency and protect personal health data used in their AI engines. The shared, decentralized data layer that blockchain provides is accessible to all stakeholders. It promotes the transparency and safety that organizations and consumers alike seek – something that is lacking in the age of the data breach. What’s more, blockchain technology, when coupled with AI, can open the door for decentralized authentication and decentralized identity. Decentralized AI has the capability to digest large amounts of information and share it through blockchain – rather than a centralized entity controlling where data is stored, often in poorly protected systems.