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Talk Abstract: Michel Legault

This paper will provide an overview on how content can be managed on a blockchain/Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), and what challenges need to be addressed in managing this content as part of transactions. Transactions on a DLT may require supporting documents – for example, photos, reference documents and actual contracts. This type of electronic content has typically been stored and managed on content management systems that include enhanced features such as document version control, metadata tagging and the retention/disposition of records. As DLTs becoming an increasingly popular method to complete transactions and share information, several issues will arise that need to be addressed, such as:

  • Should these electronic documents be stored directly on the blockchain, or in a supporting content management system (either with a traditional system or a distributed storage system)?
  •  If any supporting documents are updated, how can this be reflected within an existing/completed transaction or new transaction?
  • The retention and disposition of records are governed by legal and regulatory requirements; if a DLT’s transactions are immutable, how can records be effectively disposed of to meet these legal and regulatory requirements?

This topic is relevant to the theme of aligning multiple stakeholders and consortium members in a distributed ledger-based community with shared ecosystem scaling objectives. Part of this scaling is the protection of personal and sensitive information, especially when this information should normally be
disposed of after a record’s retention period has ended. DLTs must take into consideration the risk of sensitive information being exposed when it should have actually been deleted. The Panama Papers is an example of this risk being realized, although this exposure was not part of managing information on a DLT.