Facebook“数据泄露”启示:区块链真的可以重造数据隐私观吗?

区块链的兴起使得在数字巨头的寡头统治下找到一个切入的缝隙称为可能。如果区块链真的能成为未来的互联网,强化数据完整可能是最大的一笔福利。

上周,两家全球顶尖的IT公司都被推上了舆论的风口浪尖。剑桥分析公司可能非法获得5000万脸书客户数据,并基于客户数据分析的精准营销宣称帮助特朗普赢得了2016年美国大选。

这一消息迫使脸书的小扎不得不道歉,并同意到国会接受质询。几天之后,百度的李彦宏在一个论坛上表示,“中国人可以更加开放,对隐私问题没有那么敏感,如果他们愿意用隐私交换便捷性,很多情况下他们是愿意的,那我们就可以用数据做一些事情”,同样引起轩然大波。

两则新闻的焦点都是,在数字经济时代,到底应该怎样保护每个人的数据隐私?更进一步,它们也在拷问一个重要的问题——用隐私数据换取免费服务的数字平台商业逻辑,还走得通么?

如果把这两则新闻与当下的区块链热结合起来,不难发现,直到现在,我们提出的问题都是,个人该怎么保护数据隐私,而这个问题本身可能就问错了。

首先,究竟什么是数据隐私?

数据隐私有很多种。欧洲几年前就针对谷歌这样的搜索平台提出每个人应该有数字的“遗忘权”。举例来说,如果你在少不更事的时候,做了一些傻事,上了一条新闻,等到40岁早已成家立业之时,你其实很希望自己年轻时干过的傻事不要被搜索出来,希望自己曾经的过失能够被社会所遗忘。

在没有互联网的时代,每个人都有这样的“改过自新”的机会,不会像小说《红字》中那样一直背负着年轻时犯下的错误,互联网时代为什么就不可以了呢?

另一种数据隐私,也是在欧洲被广泛讨论的,就是个人隐私数据的携带权。举个例子,如果我是脸书的用户,当我决定不再使用脸书,我是不是可以把我跟脸书发生的所有数据历史带走,不再被脸书使用呢?

而在最近的脸书和百度事件里,探讨的其实是每个人的私人数据到底应该在什么样的范围、什么样的规则下使用的问题。换句话说,即如何确保私人数据不被互联网平台滥用的问题。

但是,在数字经济时代,数据隐私很大程度上成为了一个伪命题。如今,每个人无时无刻不在留下大量的数字尾气。这些数据一旦产生,就成为一种存在,无论是遗忘还是携带都非常困难。

同样,因为像脸书、谷歌、亚马逊、天猫淘宝、微信以及百度这样的数据大平台的出现,数据平台的商业模式已经变得特别成熟——用免费的服务换取用户的个人数据,通过不断提供服务尽可能多搜集用户的信息,给用户做出精准画像,然后依靠广告和提供精准营销来盈利。如果没有好的规则和严格的监督,大平台非常可能“滥用”个人数据。

这个时候,我们就需要转换观念,改变传统的数据隐私观,不再去考虑过去所说的数字安全,也就是不再奢望自己的数据隐私能够被隐藏起来。

反过来,我们应该强调数据的完整性,这个概念英文叫做“Data integrity”,如果能保护数据的完整性,就能防止个人隐私数据被滥用,同时又能让个人隐私数据能够被有效聚合起来使用。

比较一下数据安全和数据完整性所代表的不同隐私观,你就会发现为什么后者更有用了。

数据安全的追求者希望自己的信息是被隐藏起来的,但在数字时代,大的数据平台的商业模式就是建立在对你的数字隐私的了解,并直接或者间接地利用你的隐私数据赚钱,这样的隐藏和安全基本上已经无法实现了。

数据完整则不同,它首先基于数据开放这一前提,即每个人的信息一旦上网就无法隐藏。数据完整甚至强调私人信息就应该是公开透明、被广泛使用的,但并不是所有人都能看到你的私人信息。

数据完整所关注的是你的信息不会被篡改的安全,以及你的信息在没有你本人授权的情况下不会被不相干的人查询的安全。

数据完整意味着制订一套规则,让你愿意分享你的隐私信息。比如说,你愿意向医生和药剂师公开你的病史,而不会担心篡改病史或者这些信息被不相干的人看到。

医生能看到你的病史就可以在诊疗时更好地做出判断,而药剂师看到你的病史就能确保用药安全,避免可能致命的过敏或者其他用药安全问题的发生。

区块链给出了贯彻这一原则的一种可能的方向。

爱沙尼亚建设的部分基于区块链技术的X-roads就是一种开创性的数据公共基础设施。首先数据的存储是分布式的,数据存储在本地,而不是在一个中央的服务器上或者一个集中的平台上。

所有的个人数据都存储在本地,只有经过验证之后才可以查找、分享,而且每一次被查看都有记录可循,个人可以决定哪些数据对哪些人在哪些情况下公开。爱沙尼亚法律规定,未经允许查看别人的记录是违法的行为。

目前,X-roads应用在立法、投票、教育、司法、医疗、银行和缴税等各个方面。比如,学生买门票,系统会自动验证学生信息,允许门票打折。又比如,两个不同专业领域的医生为同一个病人开药,如果两种药可能会发生冲突,系统就会立刻提出警示。

当然,爱沙尼亚虽然是数字化的先锋,但它只是一个130万人的小国,它的数据尝试只能说是一个非常小范围内的试点。相比之下,拥有十几亿用户的脸书是一个跨国的巨无霸。这样的数字巨无霸能采用区块链来保证数据完整么?

有可能,但并不容易。

首先,因为区块链的本质是去中心化的,而脸书这样的大平台的本质是中心化的,它所搜集的用户个人信息是集中存储的,不开放的,它与用户签署的冗长的数字协定带来了“灰色地带”,使其可以“灵活”使用与分析用户的数据。

如果采用分布式存储的方式,用户的私人信息都存在本地,脸书以及它的各种商业伙伴要调用客户的私人信息必须首先得到用户授权,并且会留下记录,这无疑是在革既有数字平台商业模式的命。

其次,如果脸书这样的平台接受去中心化或者类似数据完整性规则的约束,这些平台都将会变成像自来水或者下水道那样的基础设施,不再可能享受现在相对垄断地位带给他们的丰厚利润。

但是,恰恰是区块链的兴起使得在数字巨头的寡头统治下找到一个切入的缝隙称为可能。如果区块链真的能成为未来的互联网,强化数据完整可能是最大的一笔福利。

这将是一个鱼和熊掌兼得的结局,一方面每个人不再需要担心个人的数据被滥用,另一方面,从科研到医疗到社会服务的方方面面,都可以合理去使用聚合海量用户信息的大数据集。这一转变将会为数字经济时代奠定长期繁荣的基础。

来源:澎湃新闻

作者:《经济学人·商论》主编吴晨

 

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