Privacy is one of the new technological trends of the last year. More and more important companies are shifting this functionality into their core business, even the big giants like Google, Facebook and Amazon.
Facebook especially, following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, had to run for cover on its platform's privacy leaks.
In early 2018, as reported on Wikipedia, the British political firm Cambridge Analytica gathered information from millions of Facebook profiles about political opinions and advertising. Actually the data came from a quiz app installed on users of the famous social network as reported from Wikipedia.
This scandal impacted on Facebook core business, involving Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckeberg in public process.
Actually, privacy is a sore subject for the giant social network Facebook, they suspended hundreds of apps developed on their services, as reported by The Verge.
In terms of privacy, the blockchain together with the emerging Zero-Knowledge Proof technology can offer interesting solutions to existing problems.
The integrity properties of the blockchain guarantee the user the possibility of verifying any tampering with data submitted to the platforms that maintain sensitive information such as credit cards, personal data, telephone numbers or email.
In fact, using the cryptographic hash functions, such as SHA-256, it is possible to verify the integrity of the information.
Another reference technology in the field of privacy is Zero-Knowledge Proof. A cryptographically refined object, is a tool that allows to prove the truthfulness of a statement to another entity, without the latter being able to learn further unwanted information on this claim.
This mathematical tool, Zero-Knowledge Proof, initially introduced by Shafi Goldwasser in 1985, is finding numerous practical implementations with an exponential increase in software development of these systems by innovative academics and startups.
The use cases of this technology in reality are innumerable:
- zero knowledge authentication
- anonymous verifiable voting
- private exchange & settlement of digital assets
- privacy on public blockchains
And much more.
With numerous implementation variants, e.g. SNARK, STARK, Bulletproofs and so on, surely Zero Knowledge Proofs represent one of the technological innovations that gather the greatest interest in the field of privacy, both on-chain and off-chain.