What is eDelivery?
eDelivery is a service that allows the secure and reliable exchange of documents and data across borders and sectors. It currently works by using a collection of distributed nodes that are in accordance to the same designated technical rules, and capable of interacting with each other.
The European Union has a strategic goal to develop digital services because they are important for growth and competition for Europe. In 2014 the European Commission decided to use one of its funding programmes, called Connecting Europe Facilities (CEF), to support the development of eDelivery. eDelivery determines technical specifications that can be used in any Policy of the EU (Justice, Bussiness, Consumer Protection, etc.) to enable the secure and reliable exchange of documents and data. The existing CEF eDelivery method enables the reliable and trustworthy exchange of information using a distributed model known as the 4-corner model, in which users don’t directly exchange data but instead do so through Access Points.
Blockchain eDelivery solution
By using blockchain to create an eDelivery solution there can be significant advantages compared to existing eDelivery solutions. A blockchain eDelivery solution designed and built by 4thpillar technologies is fully operational, ready for testing and provides the core technology solutions for further development of the proposed blockchain eDelivery cross-platform client.
The solution uses a distributed model where the electronic data and document exchange process runs between blockchain wallets. Transaction authentication is achieved using private and public cryptographic keys.
A blockchain eDelivery protocol is capable of;
- Connecting senders and receivers by executing electronic data and documents exchange
- Performing eDelivery based on the current EU guidelines
- Archiving securely encrypted data
- Following data protection and privacy guidelines such as GDPR
The real innovation is that the protocol does not store the trasmitted electronic data and documents on the blockchain. It’s all stored off-chain. Instead, the protocol records link to encrypted files and hashes of the encrypted content on the blockchain. This safeguards the rights of individuals to confidentiality and privacy and takes security a step further than current eDelivery solutions.
To fully implement the blockchain eDelivery concept and to make it compliant with the eIDAS, Digital Service Infrastructure (DSI) and policy objectives, it is subjected to its Access Point development. The current CEF eDelivery solution is based on a model where the Access Points of eDelivery implement an electronic data and documents exchange protocol which ensures secure and reliable data exchange.
Here trust is established between two public administrations’ Access Points and the electronic data and documents exchange is activated. Blockchain eDelivery will have a new Access Point, where trust will be provided by the blockchain instead. The new Access Point will act in a similar way to the current CEF Access Point but with the main difference of interacting directly with the blockchain. In this case, there is no need for interacting with receiver Access Point.
Who are 4thpillar
4thpillar technologies (4thtech) is a company that is leveraging blockchain technology to create a series of solutions that could transform eDelivery and online identity verification. By using blockchain 4thtech are able to expand and improve upon existing technologies to build more efficient, secure and trustworthy solutions.
4thpillar technologies’ eDelivery client will be developed according to the requirements of the Regulation (EU) No 910/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 2014 on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market and repealing Directive 1999/93/EC (eIDAS) and the Regulation 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (GDPR). It should be emphasized that there are still many debates regarding legal issues of blockchain technology and compatibility with eIDAS regulation (trust service providers, digital identity etc.).
The application for EU trust mark for qualified trust services will be put in motion upon project completion. Sending personal data through the blockchain presents quite a big legal challenge. GDPR demands responsibility for ensuring compliance, what can become demanding, especially in the permissionless public blockchain network. GDPR allows personal data processing only in the case of explicit authorization by the subject. GDPR also invokes the right of data erasure, which can be especially tricky when dealing with blockchain-ledger.
*Disclaimer – This article was written in collaboration with the 4thpillar team