Google's Private Join and Compute Gives Companies Data Insights While Preserving Privacy
Wednesday June 19, 2019. 07:30 PM , from Slashdot
An anonymous reader shares a report: Over 70 million records were stolen or leaked from poorly configured databases last year, making privacy a top concern. That's no doubt one motivation behind Google's open-sourcing this morning of Private Join and Compute, a new secure multi-party computation (MPC) tool designed to help organizations work together with confidential data sets. 'We continually invest in new research to advance innovations that preserve individual privacy while enabling valuable insights from data,' wrote engineering director Sarvar Patel and research scientist Moti Yung in a blog post. 'Many important research, business, and social questions can be answered by combining data sets from independent parties, where each party holds their own information about a set of shared identifiers, some of which are common.'
At its core, Private Join and Compute lets organizations gain aggregated insights about the other party's data. They're able to encrypt identifiers and associated data, join them, and then perform calculations on the overlapping corpora to draw useful information. All identifiers and their associated data remain fully encrypted and unreadable throughout the process. While neither party is forced to reveal their raw data, they can answer questions at hand using outputs of the computation -- for instance, counts, sums, and averages. Private Join and Compute achieves this with two cryptographic privacy methods devised to protect sensitive data: Private set intersection and homomorphic encryption.
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