Privacy enhancing technologies support the development of innovative e-services

“Privacy enhancing technologies reduce risks and can be used to offer personalised services, such as energy subsidies, based on public and private sector data.”

Liina Kamm

Senior researcher

Innovative e-services can now be developed with reduced risk of personal data leaks or misuse, according to a new study conducted by Cybernetica on privacy enhancing technologies. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications commissioned the study, which revealed that the use of privacy enhancing technologies enables individuals to have better control over the processing of their personal data and to intervene if necessary. Moreover, these technologies ensure that data protection requirements are met, while achieving the objectives of the services.

“Cloud computing and artificial intelligence technologies have led to a situation where personal data is no longer stored solely within a particular institution or country. However, privacy enhancing technologies allow individuals, companies and countries to retain control over personal data,” said Dan Bogdanov, Cybernetica’s Chief Scientific Officer.

The study resulted in two reports: a concept and a roadmap for the implementation of privacy enhancing technologies. The research reports outline a catalogue of technologies and examples of their applications, both in Estonia and abroad. Representatives from 18 government agencies were interviewed to determine their needs and expectations. Based on this, a set of policy recommendations and a potential implementation roadmap for privacy enhancing technologies was compiled.

“It is a common misconception that Estonia possesses data for every analysis or computation. In reality, there is no such super database and personal data aggregation is considered carefully for each use case. Privacy enhancing technologies reduce risks and can be used to offer personalised services, such as energy subsidies, based on public and private sector data,” said Cybernetica’s senior researcher Liina Kamm, who also led the study. “The use of these technologies can simplify the development and testing of services, the reuse of data, and the application of artificial intelligence within Estonia's e-government,” she continued.

For years, Cybernetica has collaborated with scientists from Estonia, Europe, the United States, and Japan to research cryptographic privacy protection technologies and their implementation possibilities. Cybernetica offers privacy enhancing technology products and services for data-driven service providers who launch new services. The Sharemind MPC and Sharemind HI platforms offer end-to-end security for analytics and AI services. Our security analysis tools, differential privacy and synthetic data generation tools help plan mission-critical data systems and enable data re-use.