Analyzing the Impact of GDPR on Storage Systems

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Aashaka Shah, University of Texas at Austin; Vinay Banakar, Hewlett Packard Enterprise; Supreeth Shastri, Melissa Wasserman, and Vijay Chidambaram, University of Texas at Austin


The recently introduced General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is forcing several companies to make significant changes to their systems to achieve compliance. Motivated by the finding that more than 30% of GDPR articles are related to storage, we investigate the impact of GDPR compliance on storage systems. We illustrate the challenges of retrofitting existing systems into compliance by modifying GDPR-compliant Redis. We show that despite needing to introduce a small set of new features, a strict real-time compliance (e.g., logging every user request synchronously) lowers Redis’ throughput by 20x. Our work reveals how GDPR allows compliance to be a spectrum, and what its implications are for system designers. We discuss the technical challenges that need to be solved before strict compliance can be efficiently achieved.

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@inproceedings {234729,
author = {Aashaka Shah and Vinay Banakar and Supreeth Shastri and Melissa Wasserman and Vijay Chidambaram},
title = {Analyzing the Impact of {GDPR} on Storage Systems},
booktitle = {11th {USENIX} Workshop on Hot Topics in Storage and File Systems (HotStorage 19)},
year = {2019},
address = {Renton, WA},
url = {},
publisher = {{USENIX} Association},
month = jul,