The Rising Privacy Awareness Around the World

Zecrey Protocol
4 min readJun 19, 2021


In the related years, privacy has grown as one of the hottest topic both in industry and academia. There are two main reasons accounting for this tread. Firstly, individuals are paying more and more attention to their privacy issues. With the prosperous diversity of life, people do not want to expose their lives to the public. It is widely aware that privacy disclosure limits and hinders personal freedom of behavior, thought creativity, and property security. Secondly, several typical data violations, like the Cambridge Analytica scandal [1], have triggered social panic about personal information leakage, exposed the current situation of the abuse of personal data by centralized institutions, and brought forth questions regarding how companies and governments should deal with the data entrusted to them. And they have also increased the search for the development of new technologies to preserve the privacy of companies and users.

Some people may explain that they are upright and there is nothing shameful about them, so they don’t need to protect their privacy. This argument ignores the situation where people need basic dignity, and the right to privacy is indeed the guarantee of the most basic dignity of human beings. For example, in a civilized society, it is basic politeness for people to dress neatly in public, rather than naked. This is the protection of the body privacy. Besides, people will urinate and defecate in private, and human sexual behavior and childbirth are also considered private. These are the protection of private life. Just imagine, if these various behaviors are carried out in broad daylight, how big a challenge to human dignity will be? Privacy protection is a part of human nature. In addition, personal experiences including good fortunes or misfortunes should also be protected by privacy. A mother would never want her deformed baby to be displayed in the media and watched like a freak. A billionaire may not want to expose his transaction records to the media to avoid triggering public judgment on his life.

No one is perfect. Everyone has their own weaknesses and quirks. Privacy allows us to show ourselves to the public with dignity. When a professional is found drooling while sleeping, clasping his feet on the sofa at home, and watching a soap opera, it will definitely weaken his public image.

Consequently, countries and regulators have rushed to set new compliance requirements to deal with user privacy and data collection — like the General Data Protection Regulation(GDPR) [2] in Europe or the General Data Protection Law [3] in Brazil. Parallel to that, there has been a new trend to seek new technologies like blockchain to solve privacy-related problems.

In this regard, contrary to the initial perception of many, blockchain technology may not only be compatible with the GDPR but may also help increase privacy levels and data protection, and return the property of data back to the individuals. As such, blockchain technology can be used as a privacy tool. For that reason, many industry players have started competing for leadership in this area. Blockchain technology allows a significant number of interactions to be codified and increases reliability, eliminating the political and business risks associated with the process managed by a central entity or third party. Moreover, they reduce the need for traditional validators of authenticity. Regarding privacy, there are already countless blockchain projects in development for implementation, many of which are perfectly compatible with the current stage of legislation and technology [4].

However, is blockchain technology really well-suited for privacy protection? In fact, blockchain consumers are often the easiest targets for privacy attacks — due to a start-up mentality in which security takes a backseat to growth [5]. There have been countless notorious and serious attacks on several famed blockchain projects during the past few years which have led to the loss of billions of dollars and thus caused the bankruptcy of many investors and the failure of projects. In 2017, $500 million was lost or stolen, one-half of which involved ethereum and about 34,200 current Ethereum smart contracts worth $4.4 million in ether are vulnerable to hacking due to poor protection policies[6]. We will have a further discussion in the near future on whether or how much blockchain technology can help with privacy protection.

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[5] Blockchain Threat Report,

[6] Ethereum Smart Contracts Vulnerable to Hacks: $4 Million in Ether at Risk.