Amazon Responds to Blockchain Tech and Data Ownership Questions

Amazon claims that all data recorded on the platforms will be solely owned by the individual who placed it there.

In November, the e-commerce giant announced the development of the Amazon Managed Blockchain and Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB), which touts itself as a “transparent, immutable, and cryptographically verifiable ledger” that will let customers share transaction data securely between several parties with a “centralized, trusted entity.”

Meanwhile, the Amazon Managed Blockchain is a blockchain platform designed for firms interested in a cost-efficient way to leverage the blockchain technology.

How corporations like Amazon, Google, and Facebook utilize the personal data provided freely by users is a hotly debated matter.

Amazon Blockchain general manager at Amazon Web Services (AWS) Rahul Pathak wants to assure that the customers will keep the ownership of data placed on the QLDB. Platform users can select the AWS services that can “process, store, and host content.” Pathak added that “AWS has no access to customer data and customers can choose to encrypt their data, which makes it meaningless to anyone but them.”

Regarding data ownership questions on the Amazon Managed Blockchain, the official said that similar to QLDB, the information recorded will remain the property of the company or individual that put it on the platform. “We never use customer content or derive information from it for marketing or advertising,” he stated.

Speaking about Amazon’s reasons for developing the Amazon Managed Blockchain and QLDB, Pathak said the firm spent time discussing with consumers what they were looking for in a data storage platform. Through surveys and interviews, Amazon identified two customer groups requiring a separate product.

Based on Pathak, one customer group wanted a ledger shareable among multiple participating parties and could be relied upon to be a transparent, immutable, and cryptographically verifiable transaction record. They were happy to work with a trusted and centralized entity to maintain the log.

Amazon discovered that these consumers sometimes utilize “blockchain frameworks.” However, it meant they dealt with the “unnecessary complexity of setting up multiple peer nodes, dealing with certificates, and setting up consensus algorithms they didn’t need.” Pathak said “we built [QLDB] to be an append-only immutable transparent ledger” for these customers.

Amazon found that several customers desired a tamper-proof transaction record but also wanted decentralized trust. The Amazon Managed Blockchain was created for that reason.

“The Amazon Managed Blockchain service takes care of provisioning nodes, setting up the network, managing certificates, and security, and managing and scaling the network so customers can focus on their applications and not the undifferentiated heavy lifting of keeping a blockchain network running,” Pathak stated.

In the coming years, Pathak expects the blockchain to be utilized more extensively, especially for “transactions that require a consensus across multiple parties, or that need to be stored in a transparent and immutable way.”

Pathak also expressed his excitement to witness the improvements made to the tech as well as the apps that will be created to help Amazon’s “ecosystem of customers and partners innovate in new and exciting ways.”