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Fujitsu applies blockchain to secure IoT data

Steve Rogerson
June 8, 2017

Fujitsu has developed blockchain software to create secure data exchange networks that can handle the spread of technologies such as the IoT.
With a proprietary data access control technology it has developed, the Japanese company aims to promote interchanges of data accumulated by various organisations and companies.
This software was developed by Fujitsu Laboratories and based on its virtual private digital exchange technology that can apply blockchain to control access to distributed data. The technology enables registrations of data attribute information and ID information based on where the data are stored.
At the same time, it manages the access control policy to limit users who can obtain the data. Moreover, the system automatically handles data exchange between the provider and users based on the policy set in advance.
By using this software to build a data exchange network among multiple organisations and companies, participants can safely and rapidly share data. Fujitsu aims to expand this software and commercialise it during fiscal 2017.
This software is being demonstrated this week at Interop in Tokyo.
Recently with the spread of technologies such as the IoT, various information relating to people and things has been recorded and stored as data. Efforts to create new value through big data analysis and artificial intelligence have also become significant worldwide.
To generate such value, large volumes of diverse data will be necessary and it will be important for organisations and individuals to share them. However, there are security and privacy concerns with typical data interchange that requires external data storage. In response to this, Fujitsu developed a software for data exchange networks that allows individuals and organisations to share data while keeping them in their internal systems.
The blockchain technology enables multiple computers connected to the network to share information such as transaction records. Blockchain has already been used to circulate virtual currencies, but the technology is increasingly being put to use in other fields.
Fujitsu has now developed software using its virtual private digital exchange technology, where blockchain is applied to control the access to a distributed data network.
Data providers can record attribute information such as type and element of data and ID information linked with data storage on the blockchain's distributed ledger, while the data remain where they are stored. That is, users can easily search for data according to the attribute information recorded in the distributed ledger. They can also obtain ID information for the data.
Data providers do not need to allow users to download the data directly from where they are stored. Instead, they encrypt the data and send them to users who initially provide their ID information. This enables secure data sharing
When registering information on the blockchain, data providers can manage the access policy for each data set. This enables the providers to disclose information selectively to those who are granted access to the distributed ledger.
This software features smart contracts, which enable efficient data exchange. Smart contracts will automatically execute a series of processes after the data have been requested, from access authorisation to transmission of data.
The software is based on the Hyperledger Fabric, a consortium-type blockchain, and was created by developing proprietary smart contracts executed on the blockchain.
Fujitsu plans to expand this software with the goal of commercialising it during fiscal 2017. This will create data exchange networks where people can safely interchange their data across boundaries.