Dieselgate: how data manipulation has been tipping the scales

Reliable product traceability highly benefits end-users and customers, but also enterprises and their position in the market.

Environmental laws and regulations are becoming louder and clearer each year, and the companies are being served by regulators on a monthly level: strict and exact instructions are given, minimum requirements are presented. Immense amounts of product and service data collected are difficult to track, let alone proving its veracity and provenance. As long as the predominant systems for managing data are overseen by enterprises themselves, data integrity could also be jeopardized through deliberate manipulation and data alteration for certain end goals.

In 2015, the Dieselgate scandal surfaced, exposing Volkswagen’s fraudulent practice: equipping the TDI vehicles with so-called “defeat devices” in the form of computer software designed to cheat and show false emission results. The actual emissions far exceeded legal limits set by both European and US standards.

Brand reputations, market shares, and headaches

The lack of data integrity and authenticity costs enterprises billions of dollars each year. Even when their data is reliable, they have a hard time proving it to interested stakeholders.

VW’s determination to outdo the competition and take over the top spot with shady practices has made a devastating impact on its revenue, brand image, and reputation. Fast forward to this day – around 35 billion of litigation costs and fines, the VW stock is 35% lower, 30.000 jobs were eliminated. Instead of slowly gaining back its lost grounds, not all the verdicts are yet in.

As millions of VW customers learned their vehicles were not up to code, the brand reputation was hurt substantially. The company has broken the trust of customers, shareholders, and partners, and it has been paying for it ever since.

Making enterprise data a truly valuable commodity

Authtrail was built to ensure data integrity and quality through advanced technologies of blockchain and cryptography. Every initial data entry is converted into a unique string of characters (a hash), and once it’s written on the blockchain, it becomes immutable and serves as a permanent record of digital information.

Without disrupting the original operating mode, the solution offered by Authtrail works mainly as an add-on to all existing data management systems. Simple data sharing allows end-users to check and verify enterprise data before purchase and trust the brand’s products more. In the case of VW, such a mechanism could potentially prevent users from getting the short end of the stick while solidifying the enterprise’s market positioning as a highly trusted brand.

Harnessing the features of blockchain technology, Authtrail provides a highly intuitive and user-friendly way of verifying and regaining trust in enterprise data.

Traceability is the power to provide facts, transparency to display them

Traceability and transparency are often mistakenly interchanged, but in establishing data quality, there is hardly one without the other. An integral part of any data quality discussion is an understanding of the data journey – tracking the data throughout its lifecycle to understand what changes were made.

Traceability means having the power to find verified operation data at any given point in the process. Traditionally it focuses on information like time, place, quantity, location, etc.

Transparency underpins everything from there on; it offers a clear overview of verified and trustworthy data to all partners involved in business dealings. Customers, auditors, investors, and partners.

With Authtrail bridging the gap between blockchain technology for data management and enterprise operations, businesses benefit from increased productivity through a more interconnected value chain. By leveraging and sharing trustworthy data, they can tap into new business opportunities and gain a competitive edge in the market while bringing down the cost of internal data management.

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