The results of an experiment. Image data became indistinguishable when the preset lifetime elapsed.
The results of an experiment. Image data became indistinguishable when the preset lifetime elapsed.
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An overview of the newly developed "PP-SSS" system
An overview of the newly developed "PP-SSS" system
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The configuration of the flash memory and its expected error probability (BER: bit error rate).
The configuration of the flash memory and its expected error probability (BER: bit error rate).
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The amount of errors introduced in advance depends on the number of write/erase cycles and the lifetime of data (NPBF).
The amount of errors introduced in advance depends on the number of write/erase cycles and the lifetime of data (NPBF).
[Click to enlarge image]

A Japanese research group developed a memory system that ensures the "right to be forgotten" on the Internet.

When the lifetime of, for example, data written for an SNS (social networking service) is set in advance, the data stored on the memory will be automatically destroyed. The research group is led by Ken Takeuchi, a professor at the Department of Electrical, Electronic and Communication Engineering, Faculty of Science and Engineering of Chuo University.

It was developed by exploiting the fact that the error probability of flash memory is predictable. At the time of writing data to the memory, errors are intentionally introduced in advance in accordance with the preset lifetime so that data will be destroyed and become unreproducible when the preset time elapses.

The details of the new technology were announced at Symposium on VLSI Circuits, which runs from June 15 to 19, 2015, in Kyoto City. The title of the thesis is "Privacy-Protection Solid-State Storage (PP-SSS) System: Automatic Lifetime Management of Internet-Data's Right to be Forgotten."

Focus placed on right to be forgotten

In recent years, incorrect information and personal data written for SNSes, etc are causing disadvantages to people over a long period of time. And the right to be forgotten, with respect to digital data, is drawing attention both in and outside Japan. Whether data should be deleted or not needs to be decided in accordance with the creator of the data and its contents and in consideration of the right to know and freedom of expression.

There are SNSes that make data unavailable after a certain period of time by removing a link to it. However, if such data exists in a memory even after removing the link to it, it can be read out with special software.

Therefore, the research group developed a memory system that automatically destroys data written for an SNS, etc after a preset period of time and makes it unreproducible by setting a lifetime in advance. The group named it, "Privacy-protection Solid-State Storage (PP-SSS) System."

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