In early June 2022, the federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) program staged a series of virtual roundtable discussions through its fast-track action committee on advancing privacy-preserving data sharing and analytics. The discussions were part of NITRD’s mission to coordinate the activities of 25 different government agencies to develop advanced IT capabilities for the federal government.
On June 7, 9, and 10, TripleBlind representatives and dozens of others from commercial and academic institutions participated in these virtual roundtable discussions, sharing their unique perspectives. While private industry was well represented at the virtual roundtables, the conversations focused primarily on academic research.
The NITRD said these discussions are meant to inform the Fast Track Action Committee’s vision for responsible sharing of privacy-preserving data. Part of this vision includes recommendations for federal research investment proposals, educational initiatives, policy developments, and future regulations. In the same month, the administration of President Joseph Biden issued a request for information on ways to advance privacy-enhancing technologies.
Both of these undertakings share the same objective of developing a national strategy for the secure, private sharing of sensitive data. These efforts are also meant to inform accelerated implementation of new privacy-enhancing technologies. Both efforts sought to achieve this by getting input related to federal laws, research priorities, technical limitations, risks, best practices, existing barriers, and various mechanisms related to the federal government’s involvement in this area.
These latest efforts are likely to inform existing policies, laws, and regulations related to data anonymization for privacy preservation. These federal government policies and controls vary according to industry, and type of organization.
On top of that, many organizations must also consider regulations beyond the federal jurisdiction. Numerous states and countries have laws in place relating to the sharing of data, and private data in particular.
In addition to informing policy and regulations, the government and NITRD in particular are interested in using privacy-enhancing technology to facilitate data analysis across various federal agencies. This goal is in keeping with the Federal Data Strategy, which was created by the President’s Management Agenda in March 2018. Developed iteratively by a team of representatives from 23 different agencies, the Federal Data Strategy is dedicated to optimally leveraging federal data for the public good.
Implications Of Federal Engagement for the Private Sector
While the federal government may be focused on optimizing regulations and delivering government services, the private sector is focused on unlocking innovation and greater efficiency. The more that organizations can safely and responsibly leverage sensitive data, the more they can enable for-profits, nonprofits, and researchers.
Both the roundtable and request for information initiatives acted as de facto signals to the private sector acknowledging the value of sensitive data. The government also acknowledged that privacy-enhancing technology is rapidly evolving. As such, policies and rules must continue evolving along with the technology. The government said its rules and policies should be developed so that privacy technologies can be optimized to empower the safe operationalization of sensitive data.
The Road Ahead for Privacy-Enhancing Technologies
In announcing its request for information, the federal government said privacy-enhancing technology is still in its earliest stages. Although many organizations are facing the challenge of trying to operationalize sensitive data, privacy-enhancing technologies have yet to gain widespread adoption.
Ideally, the June 2022 efforts from the federal government will build awareness of the technology and increase the comfort level of those already familiar with it.
If effective security and privacy-preserving data aggregation in cloud computing were to be more widely adopted, it could pave the way for unprecedented secure sharing of private data. In the federal government and public-private partnerships, efficient and privacy-preserving biomedical data sharing could mean unprecedented medical breakthroughs, possibly facilitated by large federal healthcare programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
Greater adoption of privacy-enhancing technologies could also lead to superior regulation and improvement of the financial sector, possibly through a massive federal institution like the Federal Reserve, for example.
How TripleBlind is Paving the Road to the Future
While there may be some skepticism around privacy-enhancing technologies like homomorphic encryption or differential privacy-preserving algorithms for data, the TripleBlind Solution offers a superior level of privacy-enhancing technology that can facilitate groundbreaking data collaborations.
Available as a software-only solution, our innovative technology is built on widely accepted and understood controls for differential privacy-preserving data anonymization. Our technology natively supports all major cloud platforms and offers true scalability.
Our customers have been able to engage in data collaborations, such as efficient privacy-preserving biomedical data sharing and analytics, like never before while preserving privacy and remaining compliant with major regulations like Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
If you would like to learn more about our comprehensive privacy-enhancing Solution, contact us today.