What is Privacy Enhancing Computation?

Privacy-Enhancing Computation Explained

There isn’t a comprehensive definition that fully incorporates the nuances of what privacy-enhancing computation is. It’s best described as being a group of diverse technologies that work together to secure the highest levels of private data conservation.   


Technologies that boost privacy and protect data from infringements, beaches, and hacker attacks are used and controlled by privacy-enhancing computation. Data can be shared freely and without disruption whilst simultaneously ensuring privacy and security. 


According to technology research and consulting company Gartner, by 2025, 50% of large businesses will adopt privacy-enhancing computation to process data in untrusted climates and multiparty data analytics use cases. 


The three forms of Privacy Enhancing Computation are: 


  • Trusted data environments that allow for secure processing of data 
  • Privacy-aware machine learning with analytical capabilities. 
  • The use of homomorphic encryption to keep data confidential through algorithm transformation 


Gartner also adds that the privacy-enhancing computation trend is not easy to execute in business environments. It’s a complicated process that takes a long time to implement, with some businesses waiting years to fully reap the benefits. 


The main reason why businesses choose to implement privacy enhancing computation is to stave off and deter privacy risks. Any organization that doesn’t protect its infrastructure risks being targeted by criminals and sacrificing vital data. 


Data protection laws such as GDPR and CCPA compel organizations to set up safeguarding measures for their compiled consumer data. It’s a safety net that was put in place to stop businesses from incurring a financial loss associated with data breaches. 


Safeguarding important data in the age of digital transformation is a key component to successful data migration procedures. It shields businesses from potential harm whilst guaranteeing that data interpretation does affect the fundamental authenticity, disposition, and interest of the individual.

How Does Technology Enhance Privacy?

Technology enhances privacy by allowing secure access to client data. A good example of this is AI companies that need protected access to client data to build machine learning models. Privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs) are the only secure way to achieve this whilst simultaneously allowing businesses to utilize and commercialize accumulating non-sensitive data. 


Privacy-enhancing technologies not only change the accessibility of information but work to change privacy standards as well. For consumers, Innovative technology allows everyday users to take swift action and secure personal information that could have otherwise been sent to third parties. For businesses, privacy-enhancing technologies allow them to track their data flows, including transferred data that captures when, who, and the conditions of transfer.

What Is Privacy Computing?

Privacy computing is a powerful cloud computing technology that insulates sensitive data and protects it in a CPU enclave during the processing cycle. The data that’s being refined and the methods used to process it is only attainable through the use of authorized program code. Privacy computing networks are virtually invisible and aren’t able to be tracked or recognized by attackers or cloud providers. 


Cloud data privacy is becoming more crucial than ever during the digital age, as more and more businesses automate processes and take the steps to move full force into the digital expanse. Privacy computing aims to provide assurances to businesses and facilitates the transfer of sensitive data to public cloud services. Privacy computing removes the persisting data security exposure by protecting data that is in use during processing or runtime.

Which Is A Fundamental And Well-Established Privacy-Enhancing Technology?

There are several future privacy-enhancing technologies that are being researched, developed, and implemented by businesses from across the world. These include but are not restricted to limited disclosure technology, anonymous credentials, enforcement of data handling conditions, and data transaction logs. 


Privacy breaches and lack of self-sufficiency in analytical understanding are just two of the reasons why privacy-enhancing technologies are so imperative to modern digital culture. 


These are some common examples of privacy-enhancing technologies: 


  1. Cryptographic AlgorithmsHomomorphic encryption is a smart cipher technique that facilitates computational operations on encrypted data. The resulting information is fully encrypted and when decrypted, matches perfectly to system data enabling the end-user to transfer, analyze and return said data.
  2. Data Masking Techniques – Data masking techniques can be used by businesses who want to protect sensitive information in data sets. Obfuscation is the central term associated with data masking and describes the methods used to rebuild sensitive information through the use of diverting and misleading data from a profile or log.
  3. AI & ML Algorithms – Synthetic data is created artificially through the use of several algorithms including powerful ML algorithms. Privacy-enhancing technologies in this context can be used to transform data into testing environments that can be shared by third parties.

What Are Privacy-Preserving Technologies?

Privacy-preserving technologies are a group of cryptographic techniques that allow businesses to operate safely within a cloud-based security environment. They work by increasing utility by taking considerable advantage of technologies such as machine learning or the cloud to preserve security and privacy. 


Privacy-preserving technologies work harmoniously within an organization’s network and system to prevent security breaches. Blockchain, data mining, authentication, big data, and IoT connected devices all use privacy-preserving technology to increase the efficiency, safety, and security of valuable data.  

Why Privacy-Enhancing Computation Is Important For Digital Transformation?

The post-Covid work environment has seen a huge migration into cloud-based networking as digital transformation initiatives spring into action at the same time as the economy picks up. 


Data is the most important aspect of modern business. Privacy-enhancing computing is just one of the ways that businesses are transforming their digital outlooks. As we work to become more autonomous and streamline repetitive processes, migrating to the cloud is critical to data-driven transitional policies that allow you to adapt in real-time. 


In this context, digital transformation can be described as a cultural change that requires organizations to repeatedly challenge existing conditions by using policies that champion investigation and innovation. This directly correlates to the implementation of privacy-enhancing computation which allows for layered security measures to be put in place, which have long-term measurable benefits to both the business and the consumer.

Updated: July 21, 2022

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