Page 0045

6.7

Regulatory engagement with

open issues

In addition to our calls for specific guidance from

European data protection authorities in certain areas,

there may also prove to be value in actively engaging

with regulators to elicit suggestions to further aid

compliance. Since the GDPR is a new regulation, there is

much uncertainty about how regulators will enforce its

provisions. As of May 2018 (the month the GDPR came

into effect), seventeen of twenty-four EU member state

authorities said they were unable to fulfil the obligations

the GDPR placed on them.41

As recently as November 2018, the European Parliament

Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs

called for additional research into blockchain technology

to determine how the technology may clash with

the GDPR.42 In light of this uncertainty, there are likely

to be benefits from developing strong relationships with

regulators to ensure up-to-date information around

regulatory views on specific areas of GDPR compliance.

One way to develop relationships could be to enter into

programs such as the UK Information Commissioner's

Office (ICO) regulatory sandbox, which will aim to provide

a safe space where organisations can develop innovative

products and services using personal data while engaging

with the ICO on ways to comply with the GDPR. Entities

inside the sandbox will not be exempt from the GDPR's

obligations, but will benefit from close interaction with the

ICO about what is required for GDPR compliance. Through

participation in programs such as the ICO's regulatory

sandbox, implementers and regulators can become aware

of and champion new blockchain technology that provides

creative approaches to the regulatory challenges posed by

the immutable nature of blockchain.

GDPR and the Blockchain I 43

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