FAQ

Business

What is an Information Sharing Agreement (ISA)?

The ISA is an automated agreement governing the use of data exchanged over the Internet. The ISA is cryptographically signed by one party and counter-signed the other party (or parties) to the agreement. Both parties hold a copy of the ISA signed by the other. When data is transferred, a compact digital fingerprint of the signed ISA and the data, called a hash, is also recorded on an audit ledger.

Does JLINC have APIs (Application Program Interfaces)?

JLINC services are fully accessible by modern API mechanisms, e.g. JSON, REST. This allows JLINC services to be accessed and used by other systems.

What is the difference between the Data Custodian and the Data Rights Holder?

The Data Rights Holder holds the rights to the data in a given transaction. The Data Rights Holder can grant rights and privileges for the use of the data to one or more Data Custodians. The Data Custodian is entrusted to use the data provided in accordance with the terms of use granted by the Data Rights Holder in the transaction. The Data Custodian and the Data Rights Holder can be individuals, organizations or their software agents, i.e. programs.

What is the relationship between JLINC and the Vendor Relationship Management (VRM) movement?

JLINC fits well with both traditional CRM systems and with the emerging VRM movement, as the Data Custodian can make a request for a transaction to be completed while indicating the possible acceptable terms of agreement prior to the request.

If the JLINC Platform is VRM compatible, why does it also support CRM systems?

The JLINC Platform supports both traditional CRM systems—such as Salesforce.com, SAP, Microsoft and Oracle—and the emerging VRM movement. This gives customers the maximum flexibility on how the JLINC Platform is used in any given circumstance.

What is the difference between Document Signing Services and the JLINC Data Provenance Service?

The JLINC DPaaS is distinct from traditional Document Signing services on several key levels. First, it actually provides a cryptographic signing system, in contrast to many systems that simply associate a picture of a user’s signature with their action recorded on the provider’s server. JLINC DPaaS is an open system that is not limited to any specific domain, single company or server. Thus the customer has the maximum flexibility and freedom of choice about how the JLINC DPaaS is deployed.

Who runs the JLINC service?

JLINC Labs is a for-profit company established to develop and disseminate JLINC as an open standard protocol. JLINC Labs will provide services to enterprise customers who prefer to employ the industry leader to help them implement the open standard protocol. For JLINC to succeed, it must become a truly open ubiquitous standard, supported by JLINC Labs.

What role does a blockchain play in JLINC?

JLINC can record an audit trail on any log, ledger or blockchain. Both parties (their services) each hold a copy of the ISA itself, signed by the other party. The purpose of the audit service is to provide additional timestamped proof that the ISA is valid, and to establish a public reputation for an entity that uses the same public key to sign multiple transactions over time. The ledger can be accessed at any time by either the Data Rights Holder or the Data Custodian if any question or dispute should arise as to the details of the transaction. Transactions recorded in the ledger or blockchain are immutable and cannot be altered by either party involved in the transaction or anyone else.

Why did you choose to use the Stellar Ledger and not the Bitcoin Blockchain?

JLINC built a first working demo on the Stellar Consensus Protocol. Stellar has several desirable functional specifications required for fast, immutable ledger entries. Among blockchain experts it is called a “permissioned blockchain”. It uses a network of entities that each trust a limited number of other nodes in the network. In contrast, the Bitcoin Blockchain uses mathematical “proof of work” which is slow, and getting slower, and very energy intensive. It has been estimated that Bitcoin Blockchain mining is consuming as much electricity as the entire country of Ireland.

What is a Link Contract?

A link-contract is the technical infrastructure that supports the Information Sharing Agreement.

Data Subject

What information can I share using a link-contract?

Any data that can be specified and defined can be transferred under a link-contract. The contract is like a return receipt for certified mail, although it is also stronger than that metaphor suggests, as a hash, which one could think of as a digital fingerprint of the actual data, is also recorded in the link-contact.

Do I need to figure out my own terms for sharing?

No, a variety of standard information sharing agreements will be offered by independent organizations. An individual can select one or more of these standard agreements to use as their own terms. This allows individuals to rely on organizations whose mission is to negotiate fair agreements on behalf of individuals to negotiate truly fair and symmetrical terms for them.

Can organizations use link contracts to set up trusted information sharing agreements with their customers?

Yes, both individuals and organizations can write their own terms, or select from among standard terms that they will agree to use. By negotiating terms with independent organizations, or accepting terms already negotiated that way, organizations can be assured of low-friction acceptance by individuals.

Technical

What is a link contract?

A link-contract is a cryptographically signed record established between two servers. It may support a one-time transfer of data, or a standing agreement for certain types of data to be transferred under specified terms between databases on an ongoing basis. The link-contract is cryptographically signed by all parties to the contract, time/date stamped, and contains a hash of the data, which are recorded on the Stellar blockchain.

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