Let’s face it, the world we live in is not a very private place. No matter how hard we try, we can never truly be left alone. We are always under the watchful eye of big data and in a state of constant connection. Before you think too long about where your fluffy cat or watchful dog should fit in a cloud privacy discussion, let’s break it down. Privacy Enhancement Technologies (PET) are a suite of privacy technologies that protect data and minimize exposure of unintended personal data, placing variable control of data in the hands of the user. An increase in PET adoption could change all that in the world of data. These are new and comprehensive integrations of privacy and security technologies, largely based on cloud tools and APIs that will change the nature of data itself.
Faster. Cheaper. Easier.
It is undeniable that technologies have evolved in this direction over time. Overall, computing, storage and cloud infrastructure has become more of a commodity than ever before. Metric barriers will continue to be broken through innovations that lead to these three features. The data direction, however, is more sophisticated than that, as we continually find new use cases for data. The future of cloud technologies is intimately tied to the application of data science as they journey together on a journey rich in privacy and security implications. We’re only just starting.
Cloud meets Privacy Enhancement Technologies (PET)
With roots stretching back to the early days of computing, you can find traces of PET technology and practices among everyday Internet behaviors and tools. There are software-based software privacy technologies, such as tunnel encryption (SSL/encryption), access controls, and data anonymization systems. There are also hard privacy technologies that include hardware VPNs, anonymous routing, and devices that leverage cryptography. Communication anonymizers masking true online identity (email address, IP address, etc.), Enhanced Privacy ID (EPID), homomorphic encryption, Non-Interactive Zero-Knowledge Proof (NIZK), format-preserving encryption (FPE) , Differential Privacy, and Pseudonymization are other evolving forms of PET.
It’s an accepted fact that smartphones and apps continually share location, usage data, and countless valuable information about the owner of that phone. From stores to street corners, highways, neighborhoods and everything in between, video cameras are everywhere we can reasonably go. I haven’t even reached the invisible satellites that continually circle around us in the skies above and often clutter our ability to look at the stars.
The fact is that the proliferation of technologies, especially cloud and data technologies, has ricocheted off what would have been more favorable in terms of privacy by design. Privacy regulations have tried and had some effect, but the industry still suffers painful and devastating breaches of sensitive data. Privacy regulations have always and will always lag behind technology and hackers. Building around this and scaling securely is clearly too difficult a task for many companies to deploy on their own. PETs can bridge this gap and maintain privacy even as the underlying computing technology evolves and transforms.
Collaboration: Trust Zero Trust
As the PET proposition grows, what is developing is a new horizon called collaborative computing. His proposal is simple. Collectively, PETs are progressing to technology stacks with the goal of creating an ever-verified data privacy blueprint, advanced processing, and ultimately a complete shift in platform-based data reporting principles to an ecosystem of data collaboration. Essentially, by ensuring security and privacy, data sharing becomes a more inviting goal.
A new world of data enabled by comprehensive security
It is clear that the pursuit of greater data acceleration and global availability balanced with the growing emphasis on security and privacy is on track for a significant breakthrough that can unlock dynamic data markets. and economies of scale. For example, marketplaces will offer the ability to federate queries and instantly share non-specific slices of data. Whether that outside party is a partner, supplier, consumer, or supply chain, regardless of country, information can be shared instantly around the world.
The journey of cloud technologies and the data that accompanies them has long been built on the principles of security, privacy and integrity. The continued evolution and adoption of PET, followed by the establishment of the field of collaborative computing, paves the way for a redefined global economy where opportunities are both unlocked and balanced by the characteristics of secure data systems, private and available, the pivot being a complete system safe approach.