Reimagining How We Protect our Digital Data | Geeks Geezers Googlization

Reimagining How We Protect our Digital Data

An Interview with Dennis Hill


However, most of the ways we try to create security today are simply ways to treat the symptoms. Nothing gets to the root cause, which Dennis Hill believes is centralized data storage. He proposes building decentralized data storage architecture, supported by blockchain and 5G and backed by laws, to finally take back our data. To support this, he has developed the first blockchain-based data security app called Family Organizer Plus, which is launching on Indiegogo this month.


Dennis is a pioneer in computer science who served as the inaugural chairperson of one of the first accredited computer science programs in the country. Since then, he has spent his life working with businesses to integrate systems and get things done more efficiently. This pursuit necessarily requires a commitment to security as well.

SEGMENT #2 — AHEAD OF THE CURVE with Joyce Gioia


[13:46] “What blockchain does is that it takes a decentralized approach to your data.”

[15:10] “The laws have finally caught up to say that your data belongs to you.”

[15:56] “The reality is that in order to own your data you need a tool to own it.”

[19:40] “What the pandemic has actually done is it has accelerated technologies. Everybody’s doing Zoom today.”

[21:43] “This Internet of Things cannot be separated from the Internet of People.”

[22:14] “We can put the data genie back in the bottle now that we have technology to ensure its privacy.”

[27:48] “You can’t protect yourself from the unscrupulous use of your data by authorized people.”

[28:39] “You can’t execute enough protection today to prevent infection.”

Podcast Notes

Security: The eternal issue [8:55]

The symptoms of cyberattacks have not changed. The truth of security is simply that companies and individuals will not invest in it except as a reaction to catastrophe. Thankfully, Dennis says that there are some exciting new technologies to help keep us safe, even if we take security for granted.

Most people don’t think twice about security when using cell phones or just doing day to day activities. There are some solutions out there like virtual private networks, malware checks, and virus protection software, but all of these just treat the symptoms. The real problem is that all our data is contained in central computers.

Decentralizing data storage [11:36]

Banks and lawyers are already catching up on a new technology to help decentralize data storage: blockchain. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are based on blockchain, but the potential of the technology for security applications are just as promising as the currencies.

Transactions made in blockchain are immutable, meaning that once they are made they cannot be changed. A transaction in Bitcoin, once made, can never be changed. Similarly, a vote cast through a blockchain platform can never be changed.

Blockchain works by taking data and chopping it up into billions of pieces. A single piece of data may be so small that it may not constitute even a single character. The chance of a hacker decrypting that single block is 1 in 15 trillion. Not even the most advanced computers have a chance of breaking into that security.

But how is blockchain decentralized? Each piece of data can be scattered across nodes all across the Internet. This is a completely different architecture and might indicate a new era of cybersecurity.

Individual data security [15:10]

Part of this architecture is blockchain, but the other part is hardware that has security protocols built in. This means we need hardware that authenticates users and authorizes access to data, rather than relying on this happening in the software.

One emerging technology that will help with this is 5G, which will provide a totally new way for online communications to function. This will replace what we have built the PC industry on for the past 45 years, which is a system built on protocols first used during World War 2. We don’t all need VPN’s, but we do all need 5G.

The pandemic and cybersecurity [19:40]

We are in a world where technology can control nearly every area of our lives and even make parts of our lives much better. However, this comes at the cost of spreading our data out far and wide. We can’t let the Internet of Things hurt the Internet of People.

Now that laws have caught up, we can retroactively scrub our data from institutions that hold on to it and have them help us track down where else our data is.

The future of security [24:27]

The International Association for Human Resource Information Management is working to establish a consortium of employers to create standards to ensure that shared HR data will be able to work together. This will help employers in cases like verifying employees have had the COVID19 vaccination.

The future of data based on blockchain will look radically different. Employers will be able to query a centralized database for any number of data points and get nearly immediate results. Additionally, the subject of the search will be notified of the search and be able to accept or reject the request.

This is very different from today, where these searches happen all the time with no notice to the subject.

What can we do today? [27:38]

However, even with the best security, there’s no way to protect against the use of your data by authorized people. That is why Dennis believes the only solution is to have your data stored on your own personal database. Innovations like 5G and blockchain will make this much easier in the near future.

Until these revolutions take place, we just have to continue treating the symptoms. This includes using a VPN and a firewall, daily virus and malware scans, and every other security measure we have. This doesn’t fix the real problem, but it is the best we can do today.

Dennis’s app, Family Organizer Plus, is launching on Indiegogo this month and offers the first blockchain-based data protection service. It also has a process you can follow to reclaim your data.

Ahead of the Curve: Normal 2.0 [37:06]

Bonuses are very important. They are motivating and, in many cases, they are even expected. But the timing of bonuses is extremely important. If you give an employee a bonus at the beginning of the year, they might feel the recognition of that bonus for a few months. But how can we use bonuses to motivate and value employees even more?

Joyce recommends giving the employee’s bonus to the people that report to that employee so they can distribute the bonus throughout the year. This gives the financial reward of receiving money throughout the year, but also gives the social bonus of giving and receiving gratitude. It can create a culture of gratitude that can be more rewarding than the bonus itself.


Following the broadcast, the replay will be available at the same links for YouTube and Facebook, our podcast website Geeks Geezers Googlization, and on most podcasts including Apple Podcast, iHeart, Spotify, Amazon, Stitcher and more.

Join Googlization Nation
Join Googlization Nation




A "Millennial trapped in a Baby Boomer body, Ira S Wolfe has passionately embraced how exponential change will impact the future of work, jobs, and society.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store