IBM working on blockchain with insurance broker Marsh
Multinational technology company IBM has announced that it has been working with global insurance broker Marsh to develop the world’s first commercial blockchain solution for proof of insurance.
The development of the ledger system is set to transform proof of insurance from being a complicated, time consuming, manual process to being streamlined and transparent, enabling greater efficiency for Marsh’s clients for common business processing such as hiring contractors.
“Marsh sees great opportunity in leveraging blockchain technology to better serve our clients by maximizing efficiency and creating new opportunities in the insurance value chain,” said Sastry Durvasula, Chief Digital Officer and Chief Data & Analytics Officer of Marsh.
Both Acord and Dallas-based ISN are also working in collaboration with IBM and Marsh, with the blockchain system being built on the open source Hyperledger Fabric technology and IBM’s own Blockchain Platform.
With proof of insurance being an important administrative requirement across a significant number of industries, the blockchain system is likely to benefit a wide range of firms once it is made available later this year.
“Vastly simplifying the process for providing proof of insurance is a key enabler of business,” said Sandip Patel, general manager, insurance industry, IBM. “This is an ideal example of how blockchain can be used on a much broader scale to drive real business results.”
ISN is the first of Marsh’s clients to pilot the solution.
China announces 6-month campaign to clean up apps
A 6-month campaign has been announced by China’s industry minister, to clean up what it says are serious problems with internet apps violating consumer rights, cybersecurity and “disturbing market order.”
In an online notice the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said that, among other things, companies must fix pop-ups on apps that deceive and mislead users or force them to use services they might not want.
The order is all part of a wider effort to crack down on tech industries and police use of personal information. Authorities have recently ordered fines and other penalties for some of China’s biggest tech companies.
Earlier this month, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) ordered online stores not to offer Didi's app, saying it illegally collected users' personal data. The company’s shares have now fallen by more than 40% since making its New York Stock Exchange debut on 30 June.
The latest campaign in the tech crackdown
The ministry launched this latest campaign with a teleconference call on Friday and issued its 15th list of dozens of apps it has said require fixing on Sunday.
There are 22 specific scenarios it has said require ‘rectification’, among which the ministry mentioned pop-up windows as a specific problem, especially when all the screen of a pop-up window is a jump link with a false close button.
Other various problems it highlighted were threats to data security due to a failure to encrypt sensitive information while it is being transmitted, and failure to obtain users' consent before providing data to other parties; and malicious blocking of website links and interference with other companies products or services.
It also took aim at illegal broadband networks, which it called “black broadband" that failed to conform to website filing procedures or might be subletting or using illegal access to networks.
Regulators have been stepping up enforcement of data security, financial and other rules against scores of tech companies that dominate entertainment, retail, and other industries.