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亚马逊将如何利用区块链维护用户权益?

ETHNews在11月底曾报道,电子商务巨头亚马逊宣布开其正在开发名为量子账本数据库(Quantum Ledger Database, QLDB)和亚马逊区块链管理服务(Amazon Managed Blockchain)的两个项目。

亚马逊在广告中宣称,其QLDB是一个“透明、不可篡改、加密、可验证的账本”,它将允许客户在“中心化且可信的实体”帮助下实现多方安全的交易数据共享。亚马逊区块链管理服务旨在打造成一个由亚马逊管理的区块链平台,为那些有意于使用区块链技术的公司提供优质高效的服务。

像Facebook、谷歌和亚马逊这样的公司如何使用客户免费提供给他们的个人数据是一个备受争议的话题。在我们报道了QLDB和亚马逊区块链管理服务的开发之后,有关存储在这些平台上的数据到底归谁所有的问题仍然存在。

为了得到答案,ETHNews采访了亚马逊云服务(AWS)区块链项目的总经理Rahul Pathak。

数据所有权归谁?

Pathak希望向AWS的客户保证,他们将保留存储在QLDB上的任何数据的所有权。他表示,QLDB平台的用户将能够选择哪些AWS服务可以为自己“处理、存储和托管内容”的服务。此外,Pathak表示:

“AWS将没有访问客户数据的权限,客户可以选择加密他们的数据,这样,这些数据除了对客户自己外,对任何人都没有意义。”

当问到谁对存储在亚马逊区块链服务平台上的数据有所有权时,Pathak回答道,就像存储在QLDB上的数据一样,存储在亚马逊区块链服务平台上的数据同样只属于存储数据的个人或公司。他还表示,亚马逊从不会使用客户的内容或从中获取信息用于营销或广告。

(注:对AWS的客户数据来说,这可能是真的,但对亚马逊收集的所有信息并非如此。根据亚马逊隐私声明,该公司确实与“不受亚马逊直接控制的关联企业、第三方服务提供商以及提供某些促销活动的企业”共享客户数据。)

为什么布局分布式账本技术和区块链

在谈到亚马逊创建QLDB和亚马逊区块链管理服务的原因时,Pathak表示,该公司花费了大量时间与客户进行了讨论,了解到了客户对数据存储平台的真正需要是什么。通过这些采访和调查,亚马逊确定了两种类型的客户,每种客户群体需要一款单独的产品。

根据Pathak的说法,一个客户群体想要一个可以在各个参与方之间共享的分类帐,该分类账可以作为一个不可篡改、透明且加密可可验证的事务日志。这些客户很乐意使用一个中心化的、可信的实体来维护这个日志。

亚马逊发现,这些客户一直在“使用区块链框架”,但这意味着他们要搭建多个对等节点、处理证书和不需要的共识算法,从而增加的不必要的麻烦。对于这些客户,Pathak继续说道:“我们将把QLDB构建成一个仅用于追加的、不可变的透明账本。”

在调研过程中,亚马逊还发现,大量的客户希望交易记录是不可篡改的,同时也希望得到去中化的信任。出于这个原因,亚马逊开发了其区块链管理服务平台。毫无疑问,Pathak对这款产品赞赏有加:

“亚马逊区块链管理服务负责提供节点、搭建网络、管理证书和安全,以及管理和扩展网络,以便客户能够专注于他们的应用程序,而不需要客户做像维持区块链网络运行那样毫无区别的繁重工作。”

展望未来

Pathak预计区块链将在未来几年得到更广泛的应用,特别是用于“需要多方达成共识,或者需要以透明和不变的方式进行存储的事务”。他补道,这项技术还处于起步阶段,但他很高兴看到这项技术的进步,同时亚马逊未来几年开发的应用程序将帮助亚马逊的“客户和合作伙伴生态系统以新的、令人激动的方式创新”。

In late November, ETHNews reported that e-commerce giant Amazon announced the development of its Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB) and the Amazon Managed Blockchain.

For those who may not remember, Amazon's QLDB advertises itself as a "transparent, immutable, and cryptographically verifiable ledger" that will allow customers to securely share transaction data between multiple parties with the help of a "centralized, trusted entity."

The Amazon Managed Blockchain, on the other hand, is intended to be a blockchain platform managed by Amazon for companies interested in a cost-effective way to use blockchain technology.

How companies like Facebook, Google, and Amazon use the personal data given freely to them by customers is a hotly debated topic. After we reported on the development of the QLDB and the Amazon Managed Blockchain, the question of who would own the information stored on these platforms remained.

ETHNews caught up with Rahul Pathak, general manager of Amazon Blockchain at Amazon Web Services (AWS), to get an answer.

Data Ownership

Pathak wants to assure AWS customers that they will retain ownership of any data they put on the QLDB. According to Pathak, users of this platform will be able to choose which AWS services can "process, store, and host content." In addition, Pathak stated: "AWS has no access to customer data and customers can choose to encrypt their data, which makes it meaningless to anyone but them."

When it comes to who will own the data stored on the Amazon Managed Blockchain, Pathak said that, like data stored on QLDB, information put on the Amazon Managed Blockchain will remain the property of the person or company that put said data on the platform. He also stated, "We never use customer content or derive information from it for marketing or advertising."

(Note: While this may be true for AWS customers, it is not true of all information collected by Amazon. According to the Amazon privacy notice, the company does share customer data with "affiliated businesses not directly controlled by Amazon, third-party service providers, and businesses offering certain promotional offers.")

Why Distributed Ledger and Blockchain

When talking about Amazon's reasons for creating the QLDB and the Amazon Managed Blockchain, Pathak stated that the company spent a lot of time speaking with customers about what they wanted in a data storage platform. By conducting these interviews and surveys, Amazon identified two types of customers, each requiring a separate product.

According to Pathak, one customer group wanted a ledger that could be shared among various participating parties – and that could be relied upon to be an immutable, transparent, and cryptographically verifiable transaction log. These customers were happy to work with a centralized, trusted entity to maintain this log.

Amazon found that these customers had sometimes been "using blockchain frameworks," but this 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." For these customers, Pathak went on, "We built [QLDB] to be an append-only immutable transparent ledger."

While conducting its research, Amazon also found a significant number of customers that wanted an immutable record of transactions but also desired decentralized trust. For this reason, the Amazon Managed Blockchain was developed.

Pathak, unsurprisingly, sang the product's praises:

"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."

The Future

More generally, Pathak expects that blockchain will be used more extensively within the coming years, particularly for "transactions that require a consensus across multiple parties, or that need to be stored in a transparent and immutable way." He added that the technology is still in its infancy but he is excited to see the improvements made to the technology and the applications that will be developed in the coming years that will help Amazon's "ecosystem of customers and partners innovate in new and exciting ways."

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