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Blockchain: Recommendations for the Information Professions

Blockchain: Recommendations for the Information Professions

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Blockchain: Recommendations for the Information Professions

  1. 1. Blockchain National Forum: Overview and Preliminary Findings Dr. Sandra Hirsh, Professor and Director Dr. Susan Alman, Lecturer SJSU School of Information ALA Webinar: September 24, 2018
  2. 2. Blockchain Project: SJSU School of Information IMLS-funded Project Goal: Gain a better understanding of blockchain technology and imagine its potential for small and large, urban and rural libraries and their communities. The San José State University School of Information was awarded a grant by the Institute of Museum and Library Services – LG-98-17-0209-17 – to investigate possible uses of blockchain applications for the information professions. The Blockchain National Forum brought experts together to discuss the issues involved in blockchain initiatives.
  3. 3. Blockchain Project Website and Blog Website provides information • Blockchain Explained • Blockchain Applications in Libraries • Resources • Blog Posts • Executive Summaries Blockchain Project Website: https://ischoolblogs.sjsu. edu/blockchains/
  4. 4. Library 2.0 Virtual Conference – June 2018 “Blockchain Applied: Impact on the Information Profession” Opening Keynote: Blockchain Explained Blockchain Panel: Standards, Legal Issues, Security Issues, Authentication and Preservation 8 Case Examples: Healthcare, Information Professions, Recordkeeping, Public Library, Credentialing, Community-Based Collections, Fair Art Market, Blockchain Education/Tools/Training Closing Keynote: Pros & Concerns View the Recording: https://www.youtube.com /c/Library20
  5. 5. Blockchain National Forum August 6, 2018 - San Jose, California Agenda: • Overview: Possibilities and Issues • Use Case Contexts: Public Libraries, Academic Libraries, Partnerships, Additional Applications (e.g., Credentialing, Community-Based Collections, etc.) • Recommendations and Discussion 26 notable experts in the information professions, business, government, and urban planning.
  6. 6. Blockchain National Forum Participants Nader Afzalan, Urban Footprint Sue Alman, SJSU Co-PI Dan Blackaby, Cornell University John Bracken, DPLA Todd Carpenter, NISO Frank Cervone, Univ. of Illinois@Chicago May Chang, Univ. of Cincinnati Caroline Coward, NASA JPL Eli Edwards, Santa Clara Univ. Miguel Figueroa, ALA Center for Future of Libraries Toby Greenwalt, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Jason Griffey, Evenly Distributed M Ryan Hess, Palo Alto City Library Sandy Hirsh, SJSU Co-PI Darra Hofman, Univ. of British Columbia Amy Jiang, Univ. of La Verne Bohyun Kim, LITA President Alexandra Lederman, The New School Chris Martin, King County Library System Annie Norman, Delaware State Library Andrew Pace, OCLC MacKenzie Smith, UC Davis Link Swanson, Univ. of Minnesota Tim Thompson, Yale Christinger Tomer, University of Pittsburgh Alex Voto, ConsenSys Yao Zhang, Kent State University
  7. 7. Blockchain National Forum Outcomes Executive Summaries from Participants Recommendations for Path Forward Disclaimer: Investigators are NOT Blockchain Experts: Convened the Discussion View the Recording: https://ischoolblogs.sjsu.edu/bl ockchains/national-forum/
  8. 8. Suggested Blockchain Issues & Applications for Libraries Issues Legal Security Standards Applications Academic libraries Public libraries Archives/Records
  9. 9. Legal Issues Ownership of a decentralized ledger? • Data “sits” on several computers or servers and updates simultaneously • Private blockchains vs. public blockchains Privacy – GDPR European General Data Protection Regulation • “…legal framework that sets guidelines for the collection and processing of personal information of individuals within the European Union (EU). ... GDPR came into effect across the EU on May 25, 2018.” • https://www.investopedia.com/terms/g/general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr.asp Is Blockchain content or provider? • It can be data storage and a store of value (anything that retains purchasing power into the future.) RECOMMENDED: Blockchain and the Law by Primavera De Felippi and Aaron Wright (Harvard University Press, 2018)
  10. 10. Questions to Ask What kinds of data and records must be stored and preserved exactly the way they were created? (provenance records, transcripts) What kinds of information are at risk to be altered and compromised by changing circumstances? (personally identifiable data) What types of interactions may need to take place between data/records and their users? (physician/patient) How much would be a reasonable cost for implementation?
  11. 11. Security Issues Blockchains store data using sophisticated algorithms • Difficult, but not impossible to hack Theoretically tamperproof • Cryptographic fingerprint unique to each block • Each node in the network agrees on a shared history • 51% Rule – Blockchain can be hacked if attacked by a group of miners controlling more than 50% of the network RECOMMENDED: Blockchain – The Future is Here, MIT Technology Review, May/June 2018 https://www.technologyreview.com/magazine/2018/05/
  12. 12. Standards Issues Blockchain systems - Open ledger technology for managing metadata Baseline standards will impact future options Areas of focus for standards development • Process Management • Data Retention • Provenance of Information Stored in the Blockchain • Authenticity of Information
  13. 13. Academic Libraries Potential Use Cases Archives and special collections where provenance and authenticity are essential for authoritative tracking Digital preservation to track distributed digital assets Blockchain-based currencies for international financial transactions between libraries and publishers potentially eliminating exchange rate problems Potential to improve ownership and first sale records management. Credentialing: Personal & academic documents Potential Problems Could eliminate possibility of a “digital first sale” by creating a verifiable transaction record ensuring that limited rights are passed on with designated restrictions of IP owner. Information could be lost permanently if private “key” is controlled by casual /unsophisticated user.
  14. 14. Public Libraries Potential Use Cases Credentials for displaced or stateless individuals Community-based collections to share objects, tools, services, and “know-how” Potential Problems Flexibility of data frameworks to allow for institutional variation Storage capacity Bandwidth capacity Environmental impact with power usage Costs
  15. 15. Archives & Record Keeping International Organization for Standardization Technical Committee 307 • Developing a new standard on blockchain terminology. Blockchain will improve trust in organizations where information records are transferred: • e.g. credentials, transcripts, currency exchange (ILL), deeds transfer, health information Use Cases: • MIT transcript • homeless services improvement by replacing paper records which are hard to manage • vital records • land registries proof of concept • corporate records
  16. 16. Benefits for Recordkeeping Immutable ledger (record) – Complete and unaltered Used as legal evidence (reliability) Multiple copies – LOCKSS (Lots of copies keeps stuff safe) Stanford University Multiple backups not necessary for loss or destruction of materials since records reside in multiple locations on the blockchain. Chain of Custody established to record the succession of offices or persons who have held the materials from the time they were created (SAA Glossary) Trust and immutability (blockchain) vs. confidentiality and performance (database)
  17. 17. Blockchain Education for All Librarians’ Roles: • Need to understand blockchain • Use blockchain in various applications • Provide blockchain education to users
  18. 18. Recommendations from National Forum Convene a coalition of interested parties to secure funding for blockchain to move from awareness to activity or proof-of-concept to full implementation. Educate the public and information professionals about blockchain technologies: how it works and potential use cases. Create opportunities for people to experiment with blockchain. Work with other interested parties to develop a library pilot project for one or more blockchain use cases.
  19. 19. Next Steps Updates on Blockchain Project Website • https://ischoolblogs.sjsu.edu/blockchains Blockchain (Library Futures Series, Book 3) - Alman & Hirsh, Expected Publication: Spring 2019 ASIS&T presentation in Vancouver, Nov. 2018 MOOC on Blockchain Basics
  20. 20. Thank you! For more information: sandy.hirsh@sjsu.edu susan.alman@sjsu.edu https://ischoolblogs.sjsu.edu/blockchains

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