Op Ed: 10 Takeaways From Recent French Guidance on Blockchain and the GDPR22.64

In late September 2018, France became the first EU member state to release official guidance on the complicated interplay between the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and blockchain technology. The Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés (CNIL) guidance is complex and nuanced but suggests some important takeaways about blockchain GDPR compliance.

The CNIL guidance identifies a category of actors termed “participants” (i.e., initiators of transactions on a blockchain) who have rights to write data to the chain and who decide to submit that data for validation by other participants (i.e., miners and “validator nodes”). Because these participants are deciding the purposes for which personal data will be processed and have chosen blockchain technology as the means for processing, the CNIL remarks that they should be considered controllers.

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