Digital confidentiality agreement as a smart contract


#1

Digital confidentiality agreement as a smart contract

The objective is to build a smart contract which can allow Alice and Bob to share confidential information in a way which encourages by game theoretic incentive confidentiality between Alice and Bob.

Requirements:

  1. An arbitrator

To accomplish this you need a third party to the smart contract called an arbitrator. The arbitrator is basically functioning like a judge. This arbitrator could be an agency, it could be an individual, or a DAC but it will have to determine if both sides abided by the confidentiality agreement.

  1. Collateral

Each side in the confidentiality agreement must accept an equal amount of risk in order to be given a stake in the success of keeping confidentiality. To buy this stake Alice would have to give a specific amount of value to the smart contract as collateral. This amount of value indicates how much Alice can be trusted as measured by the amount of risk she is willing to take, and as a result Bob would have to take on an equal amount of risk by giving an equal amount to the smart contract as mutual collateral.

  1. Enforcement

To enforce the smart contract the information shared simply has to remain confidential. If there is a leak which takes place then to enforce the contract the collateral for both Alice and Bob are destroyed in an act of mutually assured destruction. The contract is enforced by psychology and game theory where Alice and Bob can trust one another because they each are taking on an equal amount of risk. The threat of mutually assured collateral destruction by the arbitrator is what enforces the digital confidentiality agreement smart contract.

  1. Reputation

This would allow an arbitrator to be rated so that only arbitrators with a good reputation for successful arbitration could be paid. Reputation for settling disputes could be tracked, every dispute should be recorded in a public record so that over time arbitrators can gain a track record from their history. This track record should allow arbitrators to charge higher fees over time until the market place is filled with skillful arbitrartors with good reputations.

Discussion:

This smart contract would be relatively easy to write. It would require only a trusted arbitrator, an escrow account to hold the mutual collateral, and an enforcement mechanism which involves shared destruction of collateral. The shared destruction could happen all at once or it could slowly drain as this could all be negotiable. The arbitrator would be the person who has the power to trigger the shared destruction and because the arbitrator would have a reputation to maintain they would not be able to recklessly use the nuclear option.

In the case where there is a leak from either Alice or Bob then either of them could alert the arbitrator which would allow the arbitrator to study the facts to determine if there was a leak. If there was a leak then the arbitrator could have the power to destroy the collateral so that the pain is spread. It would not be a situation where Alice or Bob would want to approach the arbitrator unless the leak is something significant.

The arbitrator could also be given the power to determine that one side leaked on the other and destroy the collateral for the side which leaked. This would be quite difficult to prove though.

Technical details:

To make this smart contract work on the technical level you need to use reputation points or an already established reputation system. This smart contract could work well over Ethereum for example. You also would need enough flexibility that Alice and Bob can select an arbitrator based on agreed criteria they establish in the contract. So basically you would want the smart contract to algorithmically search for or select the arbitrator without Alice and Bob having to do anything except to agree on the attributes they are looking for.

The purpose of this sort of smart contract would not be to be about cryptography but more about the human aspects. Most leaks happen due to human failures when it comes to encryption so this smart contract would be designed to make sure both human beings share the same incentives are are equal stakeholders in the success of the confidentiality agreement. Game theory can be used, reputation can be used, and in this way a person can establish over time that they can handle information of greater levels of confidentiality as tracked by the blockchain which would record everything.

People who are good at keeping information confidential would develop their reputation for being able to do that. Over time these people would be selected more often to receive confidential information based on their reputation. You can quantify things by looking at the amount of risk they’ve taken (the amount in collateral they’ve been willing to risk) to create a numerical score for their profile. You could also see how many different confidentiality agreements they have successfully participated in to see they are good at keeping them.

How does this all relate to SAFE Network? Safe Network is the place where the confidential information can be stored. If SAFE Network provides decentralized file storage then Alice and Bob can share confidential information. The main problem will be that Alice and Bob could be given an incentive to leak the conversation so the purpose of the confidentiality agreement is to produce an economic incentive based around game theory where Alice and Bob have more to lose by leaking each others secrets than by keeping them.


#2

To apply this to SAFE Network you could set it up so everyone you interact with on Safe Network must agree to digitally sign and abide by your digital confidentiality agreement. People who betray you by leaking would suffer reputation costs as well as loss of their economic value held in escrow.

They would fund the smart contract and that would act as a signature for the agreement. Once it is signed then they could be given access to confidential information streams. If they leak then they lose.


#3

This confidentiality contract is based on a few assumptions.

  1. That the form of collatoral being used is of equal value to both parties. If Bob values currency but Alice values information more then Bob is at greater risk even if they both throw in the same amount of currency as collatoral because even if Alice renages on the confidentiality agreement and leaks from her perspective she’s losses less and gained more because to her the investment of money is of less value than the ability to gain and leak information. Basically the confidentiality agreement would just be setting a price on how much it would cost someone to leak the information. Also one could always devalue the information given to the other party.
  2. In order for this confidentiality agreement to work. “Info gained” >= “info given” collatoral_expense.
  3. Not all risk is easily quantifiable and measurable. Information can have subjective value depending on who it belongs to and with whom it is being shared. Many things are like that. As I said this whole scenario assumes a universal measure of value.
  4. People have been known to kamikazie. This scenario also assumes that one’s desire for self preservation remain intact.

#4

[quote=“Blindsite2k, post:3, topic:2135, full:true”]
This confidentiality contract is based on a few assumptions.

That the form of collatoral being used is of equal value to both parties. If Bob values currency but Alice values information more then Bob is at greater risk even if they both throw in the same amount of currency as collatoral because even if Alice renages on the confidentiality agreement and leaks from her perspective she’s losses less and gained more because to her the investment of money is of less value than the ability to gain and leak information. [/QUOTE]

Reputation is something at risk as well. So Alice would risk losing her reputation. Reputation is how opportunity can be distributed so when monetary collateral fails then psychological effects would also act as a risk factor.

Not only would Alice be sacricifing money but reputation as well. That bad reputation she obtains would give her the mark of cain and prevent people from giving her confidential information in the future.

[quote=“Blindsite2k, post:3, topic:2135, full:true”]
Basically the confidentiality agreement would just be setting a price on how much it would cost someone to leak the information. Also one could always devalue the information given to the other party. [/QUOTE]

It puts a cost to leaking the information. That cost can be measured as the montary value held in collateral combined with the cost of having a bad reputation on the blockchain. People who have a bad reputation can simply be blacklisted and not receive any opportunities in the future because people will see them as people who cannot be trusted.

In this way even if Alice is a billionaire she might still want to maintain her good name.

[quote=“Blindsite2k, post:3, topic:2135, full:true”]
In order for this confidentiality agreement to work. “Info gained” >= “info given” collatoral_expense.
Not all risk is easily quantifiable and measurable. Information can have subjective value depending on who it belongs to and with whom it is being shared. Many things are like that.
[/QUOTE]
The value of the information being kept confidential should correlate with the value held in collateral as well as the value of “reputation” to Alice and Bob. If Bob does not care about money or reputation then you’re right he could do anything but how many people do we know who don’t care about money or reputation?

[quote=“Blindsite2k, post:3, topic:2135, full:true”]
As I said this whole scenario assumes a universal measure of value.
[/QUOTE]
Reputation isn’t universally valuable but it’s valuable to most people. Money isn’t universally valuable but it’s valuable to most people. If you’re more vague and you use resources then there are resources which are valuable to most people.

But when you’re talking about money it’s not equally valuable to all people. Some people have so much money that they’ll have no problem leaking if money were the only cost. Reputation on the other hand keeps really rich people in check while money keeps really poor people in check.

How many people like that exist though? I would say less than 1% of people in the world don’t care about money or reputation. How likely would you be to do business with a person who doesn’t care about money or reputation?

And again while there will be some people who slip through the cracks these people will not receive confidential information in the future. These people will miss out on opportunities in the future as the reputation system prioritizes around people who abide by the rules.


#5

Um pretty much anyone who operates independently and is self sufficient doesn’t care about money or reputation. To the degree that one is self sufficient and can produce their own stuff one doesn’t care about the approval of others or about trading in currency because neither are needed for your survival. Why do you care about reputation? You aren’t trying to impress anyone if you’re producing your own stuff. Why do you care about money? Again if you’re individualistic and self sufficient then you aren’t engaging or relient on trade and therefore do not value currency. Therefore as one’s self sufficiency rises one’s need for money or the approval of others declines proportionately. True it’s not going to happen all at once but while there are a lot of people that value reputation and money, a good chunk of those are striving to be, if they haven’t already become, self sustaining.

Therefore your confidentiality agreement contract would only work on those who were dependent on society in one form or another, either financially or reputationally, and it would only work proportionately well to how dependent they were. If however you were to try and engage in trade with someone who was already an independent entity who was simply trading something because he wanted something else but didn’t need it and he didn’t particularly care what the rest of society thought of him then your agreement would be worth nothing.

I think really you need to take into account a third question which is personal honor. Rather than having the system based on seeking approval from others have it based on one’s own honor. Have the user record their values, be it “I do not lie.” “I do not cheat.” “I do not renage on deals.” Whatever. Then have the system record every time the user a) attempts to go back on their values and remind them of said values. And b) record whenever they actually do breach said values. Doing this would also allow the system to match people up according to values and needs. So say you need a secret kept, well you want to find someone who values keeping secrets. So you do a search for someone who has that value and a high rating of maintaining that value. Say you want to have a business deal maintained to the letter, you find someone who keeps their word. Say you want someone who is punctual, you do a search for someone who is meticulous about being on time. So on and so forth. Reputation comes in all shades and colours. A digital confidentiality agreement is just one flavor. The above idea is based on the assumption of social dependency and conformity. Frankly I’ve never had much taste for confidentiality agreements in general. Either you trust me or you don’t, either I trust you or I don’t and if we don’t trust one another we shouldn’t be dealing with one another.


#6

Show some examples of people like this because I don’t know many people who are both self sufficient and who also don’t give a damn about their reputation. Mark Karpales sacrificed his reputation and even if he is self sufficient it doesn’t mean he will be for very long. Just because you have money right now it doesn’t mean people who don’t respect you cannot organize to take your money away and no one is going to protect you if your reputation is so bad that they can’t stand you.

[quote=“Blindsite2k, post:5, topic:2135”]
Therefore as one’s self sufficiency rises one’s need for money or the approval of others declines proportionately.
[/QUOTE]
I don’t think the world works that way. Money can’t buy everything and money can be stolen away from you if people don’t respect you. They’ll simply organize some thugs and extort you until they have all your money or they’ll charge you higher prices in business so that everything costs more because of your reputation.

So if you develop a bad blockchain reputation then when people sell you stuff they’ll price your bad reputation in and charge you a bit extra. A person with a good reputation would get discounts, rewards and other benefits. Finally if your reputation shows you cannot keep information confidential then people will stop telling you stuff and then information asymmetry could hurt you. Reputation matters a lot for people who have money and who want to keep it.

[quote=“Blindsite2k, post:5, topic:2135”]True it’s not going to happen all at once but while there are a lot of people that value reputation and money, a good chunk of those are striving to be, if they haven’t already become, self sustaining.

Therefore your confidentiality agreement contract would only work on those who were dependent on society in one form or another, either financially or reputationally, and it would only work proportionately well to how dependent they were.
[/QUOTE]
What are some examples of these people who don’t depend on other people for anything? Show me someone like that? Even Bill Gates cares about his reputation.

[quote=“Blindsite2k, post:5, topic:2135”]
If however you were to try and engage in trade with someone who was already an independent entity who was simply trading something because he wanted something else but didn’t need it and he didn’t particularly care what the rest of society thought of him then your agreement would be worth nothing. [/QUOTE]
You have a point that some people could become so powerful in monetary terms that you might not be able to reason with them monetarily but psychologically everyone is able to be affected. Reputation matters to anyone who is civilized, who follows laws, who has a conscience, because if reputation really didn’t matter then there would be no reason to be nice to anyone.

How many people do you know who don’t care about their reputation at all? Even criminals care about their reputations.

[quote=“Blindsite2k, post:5, topic:2135”]
I think really you need to take into account a third question which is personal honor. Rather than having the system based on seeking approval from others have it based on one’s own honor. Have the user record their values, be it “I do not lie.” “I do not cheat.” “I do not renage on deals.” Whatever. Then have the system record every time the user a) attempts to go back on their values and remind them of said values. And b) record whenever they actually do breach said values. Doing this would also allow the system to match people up according to values and needs.
[/QUOTE]
That would be fine but that is still reputation. I wouldn’t be against doing it this way but the point is that we will know eventually who to do business with and who is just a con artist. Con artists might have a lot of money but what can they do if we charge them a bit extra as a tax for being dishonest?

[quote=“Blindsite2k, post:5, topic:2135”]
So say you need a secret kept, well you want to find someone who values keeping secrets. So you do a search for someone who has that value and a high rating of maintaining that value. Say you want to have a business deal maintained to the letter, you find someone who keeps their word. Say you want someone who is punctual, you do a search for someone who is meticulous about being on time. So on and so forth. Reputation comes in all shades and colours. A digital confidentiality agreement is just one flavor. The above idea is based on the assumption of social dependency and conformity.
[/QUOTE]

The only reason you can have business deals at all is because of social dependency and conformity. If you’re a person who doesn’t need anyone else for any reason and who doesn’t give a crap about their reputation at all then you can do anything. You’ll be the most free that way but at the same time people will think of you as a psychopathic terrorist similar to the Joker. How many people don’t care about others to the point that they don’t care how evil they look?

Of course and this is why I wouldn’t expect you to keep anything secret. If you’re not willing to take as much risk as me then why would I believe your words if it’s not backed up by collateral?

On the other hand if you have a good reputation and your words are backed up by collateral then I would be likely to take you more seriously. Put your money where your mouth is as they say.


#7

Okay I’m just going to answer these as I spot and think about them.

So you’re positing that the only way one would act empathically is if they would need other people? Say I had all my needs met, food, house, power, water, clothing production, tech, the lot of it. I don’t need to interact with people. I don’t need to help people. I don’t need to need to give a damn about anyone’s approval. And yet I DO help people and I do interact with people. Why? Is it so far fetched for you to believe someone might actually care about another human being? Not because they need something from them but just out of a sense of empathy and compassion. Independence != antisocial behaviour.

Um wrong! I’m not nice to people because I get kudo points in social approval ratings I’m nice to people because I empathize with them. I’m nice to whom I want to be nice to, whom I feel like being nice to, not out of some sense of social obligation. I don’t give a damn what people think of me. I don’t care what anyone thinks of who I associate with either. If I like them and empathize with them I’m nice to them if they piss me off I’m not nice to them anymore and society can take their collective approval ratings and feed them to the abyss. And I can tell you right now I’m not the only one who operates like this. Not everyone is nice to others out of a sense of social obligation or desire for social approval.

Bill Gates is hardly self sufficient. He’s heavily entrenched in the system. Amount of capital does not equal independence. Self sufficiency = independence. You can have huge amounts of lucre but if you’re still driving a limo that relies on gassoline, living in a pent house that’s relient on the electric grid, buy your food rather than grow it, flush your toilet into the sewage system, and have no idea where your garbage goes or how or even if it’s reprocessed back into things you are using then you’re completely dependent on the system. You just have more glitter on you but are still just as dependent as a guy living in an appartment, paying rent and shopping at walmart.

What defines someone who is independent?

  • Owns his own land.
  • Owns his own house, has preferably built his own house.
  • Has a self sustaining ecosystem, that is power, food, water, heat and any other regular base needs one might have.
  • Produces rather than consumes (buys) what one needs.

Moreover antisocial and “terrorist” behaviour is produced when a demand from society is not met. If one can produce everything oneself then why be antisocial?

I see you’re point reputation is important. Because even after one becomes self sufficient one would want to interact (or not) and would develop reputation depending on how one treated others. But in this case it’s not a matter of dependence but rather of voluntary social interaction.

And I still maintain people don’t need to social approval in order to be nice to one another. If the only reason you’re being nice to someone is for social approval then it isn’t genuine, you’re just being a fair weathered friend.

Again you are translating “not seeking the approval of others” as “not caring about others and not empathizing with others.” Which are different things entirely. For instance if I made a friend and he’s a good guy and nice to me, do I care if he’s unpopular and not in the “in crowd.” No. I don’t care we’re not sitting at the “cool kids table.” What I care about is the quality of a person’s character. Therefore I empathize without seeking social approval. Do I care about the specific opinion of the people I care about? Yes but that would be a different reputation system entirely. You’d have to have two reputation systems, one general and one specific for one’s close ties.

Many people do not care about the general reputational opinion of society, such people are often known as “individualists.” This does not mean these people do not care deeply about those close to them or care about the specific reputation or approval of those close ties. But that doesn’t show up as well on such a system as you are trying to devise.


#8

[quote=“Blindsite2k, post:7, topic:2135”]“So you’re positing that the only way one would act empathically is if they would need other people? Say I had all my needs met, food, house, power, water, clothing production, tech, the lot of it. I don’t need to interact with people. I don’t need to help people. I don’t need to need to give a damn about anyone’s approval. And yet I DO help people and I do interact with people. Why? Is it so far fetched for you to believe someone might actually care about another human being? Not because they need something from them but just out of a sense of empathy and compassion. Independence != antisocial behaviour.” [/QUOTE]

For most people it does. It’s moral hazard. It’s why police officers start treating people differently once they have a gun and badge. It’s the fact that they feel like there are no consequences to their actions which enable them to do anything they want.

As an example imagine all of these people are fake cartroon characters and you don’t give a damn about any of them. Why would you be nice if you can do anything to anyone without any consequence? If you’d still be nice it’s because you’re irrational and it has nothing to do with rational behavior or typical behavior. In my models I assume people would be rational so you’re correct that there could be a few holes in my model where you can say some people will always act the same no matter how much power you give them or no matter what the consequences are but the vast majority of animals adapt their behavior to avoid certain consequences. I’m talking about the majority and my models don’t rely on a person having empathy or compassion as it’s consequence based.

[quote=“Blindsite2k, post:7, topic:2135”]
“Um wrong! I’m not nice to people because I get kudo points in social approval ratings I’m nice to people because I empathize with them. I’m nice to whom I want to be nice to, whom I feel like being nice to, not out of some sense of social obligation. I don’t give a damn what people think of me. I don’t care what anyone thinks of who I associate with either. If I like them and empathize with them I’m nice to them if they piss me off I’m not nice to them anymore and society can take their collective approval ratings and feed them to the abyss. And I can tell you right now I’m not the only one who operates like this. Not everyone is nice to others out of a sense of social obligation or desire for social approval.” [/QUOTE]

Most people are nice to others because they get kudo points. When you talk about acting because you feel a certain way then this also means you’re much more suggestible, easily manipulated, and will be more likely to fall for propaganda. Why do you think people join with terrorist activities or join cults? The same sense of obligation, compassion, and empathy that you speak of is what can be manipulated to get people to act in irrational ways. While your emotions can be right sometimes it’s not going to be right every time and this is why logic, rationality and mathematics come into play.

If you’re able to act out your emotions and be right enough of the time to survive then good on you. But when you’re making a model which is supposed to work for everyone then it has to work for people who aren’t like you and who don’t have your emotions. It should work for people who are rational and who are nice because they have to be nice rather than people who are the reincarnation of Jesus Christ. If we have models which assume everyone is like Jesus Christ then do you honestly think it would scale?

[quote=“Blindsite2k, post:7, topic:2135”]
“Bill Gates is hardly self sufficient. He’s heavily entrenched in the system. Amount of capital does not equal independence. Self sufficiency = independence. You can have huge amounts of lucre but if you’re still driving a limo that relies on gassoline, living in a pent house that’s relient on the electric grid, buy your food rather than grow it, flush your toilet into the sewage system, and have no idea where your garbage goes or how or even if it’s reprocessed back into things you are using then you’re completely dependent on the system. You just have more glitter on you but are still just as dependent as a guy living in an appartment, paying rent and shopping at walmart.” [/QUOTE]

I agree only to a certain point. You could say cave dwelling luddite terrorists are independent from modern society. But they aren’t independent in how they think because the very words and pictures they think with came from society and from other people. The mind gets polluted by propaganda to the point that almost no one is intellectually independent. To be intellectually independent you have to think for yourself which means you wont find all the answers from a book, or from someone giving you the answers, or even from your internal feelings, but only from experimentation, trial and error. So in some ways I’m more independent than you because I am a consequence based person but on the other hand I admire the fact that through intuition you can adopt the correct behavior enough of the time to live that way.

[quote=“Blindsite2k, post:7, topic:2135”]
"What defines someone who is independent?

Owns his own land.
Owns his own house, has preferably built his own house.
Has a self sustaining ecosystem, that is power, food, water, heat and any other regular base needs one might have.
Produces rather than consumes (buys) what one needs."
[/QUOTE]

We all want that but it’s not like you can get those things and be left alone. Also there have been communes and cults which have tried to set exactly that up only to have the government rain on their parade. It’s just not realistic to think you can escape from reputation completely unless you can find some place to hide and if you do then let me know because no where in the United States is like that.

[quote=“Blindsite2k, post:7, topic:2135”]
“Moreover antisocial and terrorist behaviour is produced when a demand from society is not met. If one can produce everything oneself then why be antisocial?”[/QUOTE]

You don’t have to be anti-social or a terrorist. Society will label you anti-social or a terrorist if you become so independent that you scare people. You’ll be arrested on bullshit charges and put in prison or you’ll be seen as a terrorist unless you can figure out how to be independent and keep a good reputation.

[quote=“Blindsite2k, post:7, topic:2135”]
“I see you’re point reputation is important. Because even after one becomes self sufficient one would want to interact (or not) and would develop reputation depending on how one treated others. But in this case it’s not a matter of dependence but rather of voluntary social interaction.”[/QUOTE]

But reputation is the reason you have to be nice to others. If you could be mean to anyone you want without any consequence to your reputation then why wouldn’t you steal? why wouldn’t you hurt people? Since no one is going to do anything about it what would stop you from taking anything you want from anyone simply because it’s possible as a means of getting what you want? I don’t see a reason for your attitude of be nice for the sake of being nice as it doesn’t make rational sense.

I’m nice myself but I’m not nice to just anyone.

[quote=“Blindsite2k, post:7, topic:2135”]
“And I still maintain people don’t need to social approval in order to be nice to one another. If the only reason you’re being nice to someone is for social approval then it isn’t genuine, you’re just being a fair weathered friend.”
[/QUOTE]
Without social approval then there is nothing to protect you from other people who will simply conquer you and take everything. If you look evil then you really have no rights and anyone can take from you and be seen as a hero. The reason reputation is important is because once you lose it then you have no rights and it’s not realistic to think you can defend yourself from the entire world. Buy all the guns you want and try to live independent but if you’re seen as evil none of it will protect you from others who are vigilantes.

[quote=“Blindsite2k, post:7, topic:2135”]
“Again you are translating “not seeking the approval of others” as “not caring about others and not empathizing with others.” Which are different things entirely. For instance if I made a friend and he’s a good guy and nice to me, do I care if he’s unpopular and not in the “in crowd.” No. I don’t care we’re not sitting at the “cool kids table.” What I care about is the quality of a person’s character. Therefore I empathize without seeking social approval. Do I care about the specific opinion of the people I care about? Yes but that would be a different reputation system entirely. You’d have to have two reputation systems, one general and one specific for one’s close ties.”
[/QUOTE]
The problem is the world isn’t set up to care about our feelings. Empathize or not and it doesn’t make a difference in how the world is run. The world is run on information. A reputation score, a bank account balance, an identity, that is information. How much empathy is going on in your brain is important to you but it doesn’t help other people decide whether or not they can trust you nor can other people know what is going on in your brain to care.

So in the end we only have our actions to define ourselves and win the trust of other people.

[quote=“Blindsite2k, post:7, topic:2135”]
"Many people do not care about the general reputational opinion of society, such people are often known as individualists. This does not mean these people do not care deeply about those close to them or care about the specific reputation or approval of those close ties. But that doesn’t show up as well on such a system as you are trying to devise. "[/QUOTE]

These individualists are also the easiest to demonize. Those who are easiest to demonize are the first to get killed or sent to jail. It doesn’t matter if you commit a crime or not but if you really didn’t care about what society thinks then you’d commit a crime eventually due to your mindset. Since people who don’t care about reputation are going to commit a crime the moment the law goes against how they feel then it’s almost inevitable that someday they’ll either be an activist, a terrorist, or a criminal. If you’re going to be effective in society you don’t want to be seen as any of these things because it can limit your effectiveness.