What Are Zero-Knowledge Proofs?
A zero-knowledge proof ensures data privacy by allowing two parties to exchange information without revealing any transaction details. In order for ZKPs to be used properly, they require two parties: one who knows some information (the prover), and one who doesn’t know anything (the verifier). For example if person X (Verifier) needs to get into a safe to obtain data and person Y (Prover) has the code, person Y needs to prove to person X that they have the code and this is done by showing person X what is inside the safe without revealing the code. As a result the code is not displayed, yet person X still receives the information they need. In other words, a Zero Knowledge Protocol is a way to prove your knowledge to someone else without revealing it. By doing this, no one can see what you are communicating about or what data you are sharing.
The popular cryptocurrency ZCash avoids revealing the identity of senders or recipients by using zero-knowledge proofs. As a result, many organizations and individuals in search of increased privacy and security use ZCash as an alternative for transactions.
Standards For Zero-Knowledge Proofs :
Zero-knowledge proofs can be used in a wide range of settings which all benefit the user :
- Blockchain Technology : As stated above, cryptos such as ZCash use zero-knowledge proof to validate transactions unlike bitcoin or ethereum which incorporate public verification of transactions .
- Finance Industry : Zero-knowledge proofs can be used in the finance industry to prove, for example, that a client’s income falls into a particular category. The reason why this is important is because private information, such as your bank balance, can be sold to third parties without your consent.
- Authentication : A zero-knowledge proof can be used to authenticate users without requiring them to enter passwords, for example biometrics.
- Online Voting : Zero-knowledge proofs allow people to cast votes discretely and verify that their votes were counted and used in the final tally.Therefore any bias or sabotage will be picked up.
Why Is The Privacy Of Your Data Important ?
Data privacy is the ability of an individual to determine for themselves when, how, and to what extent personal data or information about them is shared with or communicated to others. This information can include your name, age, location, search history, interests and much more. This is information that you generally would not want in the hands of companies let alone having them sell it off to third parties.
The issue of data privacy comes down to two fundamental principles: control and consent. Companies should be giving their users control over what information they share with these companies. It does not matter if it is just a login for an account on their website or an email address; there should be some way for users to choose whether or not they want their data shared with any particular company. In addition to this principle being important to consider when thinking about data privacy; it also helps protect against identity theft since users will not have access to private information that could be used by others without their knowledge or consent.
The more the world becomes more digitised, the more important personal data becomes. This is because your data becomes much more valuable as it can be sold to third parties which can directly target you in unwanted advertisement.
For example website X may create a model based around your search history and sell that information to company Z which will use it to try to sell its products to you.Im sure you’ve experienced companies calling your to sell you insurance or funeral plans.This happened because you personal data (cellphone number) was sold to a third party.
So what are some of the ways that you can protect yourself and make sure that no one gets hold of your personal data?
1) Be mindful about what type of data you’re sharing online
2) Don’t send sensitive information through email or text messages – instead use secure messaging apps like Signal or Telegram (which encrypts all communication)
3) Use passwords that are strong and unique for every account – don’t reuse passwords across different websites, apps or devices (if you do this then hackers could potentially gain access to all of your accounts)
4) Use a VPN service when using public Wi-Fi networks so that your identity is protected and no one knows who you really are when using these networks.