Google unveils open-source cryptography tool to protect collaborative datasets

Google began rolling out an open-source tool this week that allows organizations to share their datasets with other parties without violating the privacy of the individuals included in the datasets.

The Private Join and Compute solution allows for an organization's datasets to be combined and manipulated by outside organizations, but masks and encrypts the personally identifiable data contained within. As such, organizations can safely share their datasets with each other, reducing the need for redundant data-gathering and therefore accelerating the speed of data-driven research and innovation.

"All inputs (identifiers and their associated data) remain fully encrypted and unreadable throughout the process," reads a Google Security Blog post about the new tool. "Neither party ever reveals their raw data, but they can still answer the questions at hand using the output of the computation. This end result is the only thing that's decrypted and shared in the form of aggregated statistics."

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