- The tool allows organizations to share data and draw useful insights from aggregate statistics while preserving individual privacy.
- This technology holds promises in advance research that require organizations to share data
Google has open sourced its Private Join and Compute, a multi-party computation (MPC) tool designed to help organizations share confidential data sets while preserving individual privacy.
Private Join and Compute is a cryptographic protocol that enables two parties to encrypt their data before sharing it with each other to draw valuable insights from it.
The tool keeps individual information safe while allowing organizations to accurately compute and draw useful insights from aggregate statistics.
“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 (e.g. email addresses), some of which are common,” Google security experts write in blog post.
“But when you’re working with sensitive data, how can one party gain aggregated insights about the other party’s data without either of them learning any information about individuals in the datasets? That’s the exact challenge that Private Join and Compute helps solve,” they claim.
How it helps protect individual data
Private Join and Compute combines two fundamental cryptographic techniques, Private set intersection and Homomorphic encryption, to protect individual data.
The experts explain: This combination of techniques ensures that nothing but the size of the joined set and the statistics (e.g. sum) of its associated values is revealed. Individual items are strongly encrypted with random keys throughout and are not available in raw form to the other party or anyone else.
Google believes that this technology can help advance valuable research in a wide array of fields that require organizations to work together without revealing anything about individuals represented in the data.
By sharing the technology more widely, the company is hoping to expand the use cases for secure computing.
As part of its efforts to support user privacy, Google had earlier this year launched Password Checkup, a Chrome extension that helps users detect if a username and password they enter on a website has been compromised.