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How Confidential Computing and Decentriq can facilitate greater industry collaboration

Born in Zurich, David Sturzenegger is a mechanical engineer by training and obtained a PhD degree in electrical engineering from ETH Zurich in 2015. From his time at big-data company Teralytics, he has several years of experience working with highly-sensitive data and leading teams of senior data scientists and software engineers.

Now David is Head of Product at Decentriq, where he is leveraging privacy-preserving technologies to help organizations collaborate on sensitive data. At SDS2021, David will be talking about Confidential Insights, a confidential survey platform jointly developed by Decentriq and Swisscom’s Fintech unit.

Confidential Insights was announced in November 2020. It is the world’s first platform for provably confidential surveys and peer-group analyses. Built to make collaborations around sensitive data easy and secure, Confidential Insights allows combining survey answers from multiple participants and extracting insights while keeping the answers provably confidential from anybody – including all admins. With Confidential Insights there is no trade-off between data utility and data privacy anymore.

An application of Confidential Insight

Leveraging the additional confidentiality guaranteed by Confidential Insights, Swisscom’s market research department –  e.foresight  – recorded an increase in participation in their annual survey on online mortgages, conducted by 30 banks in Switzerland. Banks that would not have participated previously due to confidentiality concerns, now responded to the survey through Confidential Insights, providing e.foresight with greater data input and deeper insights into the online mortgage space in Switzerland.

The underlying technology platform

The confidentiality guarantee is achieved by leveraging a technology called confidential computing, which is also the underlying technology behind the Decentriq platform. This is a SaaS enterprise that allows anyone to easily collaborate on the most sensitive data without risk of exposure. Confidential computing ensures that all the data passing through Decentriq is completely secure and encrypted, end-to-end. Even Decentriq itself cannot see the raw data input by organizations into the Decentriq platform. Confidential Insights uses the Decentriq platform as a backend.

Applications in different industries

From customers’ financial information to patients’ health data, collaborating with industry partners on sensitive data can securely bring about significant benefits and value to organizations and their customers. Below are some examples of industries that can benefit from secure data collaboration:

  • Insurance: To provide better protection and service for customers by leveraging customer insights, or to enhance collaborative fraud detection by analyzing data with fellow insurers, without exposing sensitive customer and claims data.
  • Financial Services: To participate in collaborative credit risk scoring with other firms and improve credit risk modelling and scoring, without ever exposing customers’ confidential data.
  • Healthcare: To bring together patients’ highly-sensitive health data, often distributed across different hospitals and clinics, in an anonymized manner so as to allocate resources more efficiently and provide patients with more effective treatments.

With confidential computing powering Confidential Insights and Decentriq, more organizations and industries can now collaborate with each other on their most sensitive of data with minimal risk, unlock new business value and deliver products that best match their customers’ needs.