14 Jul 2021

Guide to adopting privacy-enhancing technologies

The Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation have launched a new website to provide guidance on privacy-enhancing technologies, or PETs.

The Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation have launched a new website to provide guidance on privacy-enhancing technologies, or PETs. The aim is to help organisations feels more confident in undertaking data-driven innovation while also protecting the privacy and confidentiality of sensitive data. PETs are technical methods that can help achieve this, although CDEI are careful to point out that they are not a silver bullet and cannot be used  in isolation. Rather, they can be adopted alongside broader privacy designs to greatly reduce the risk of sensitive data being disclosed.

The website introduces different kinds of PETs, from what are classified as traditional techniques, including at-rest and in-transit encryption, to emerging techniques which include multi-party computation and federated analytics. In addition, they introduce the application of different PETs through a significant repository of use cases, categorised by sector, stage of implementation and PETs.

Several techUK members are among the case studies. A Privitar pilot in finance is used as example of homomorphic encryption to allow institutions to gather insights about a population from private and public datasets without collecting any identifiable information. Another pilot, carried out by NVIDIA and King’s College London, shows how federated analytics and differential privacy have been used to access data to train a neural network in brain tumour segmentation.

For details on the wider range of PETs, more case studies, and to try out an interactive guide to see which PET might work for your purposes, explore the full Adoption Guide. The site is currently in beta and CDEI will undertake user testing over the autumn. They are looking for feedback, so if you are interested in contributing to this, or if you have an interesting use case for the repository, do get in touch with them on [email protected]


Emilie Sundorph

Emilie Sundorph

Programme Manager – Digital Ethics and Artificial Intelligence, techUK

Emilie joined techUK in June 2021 as the Programme Manager for Digital Ethics & AI.

Prior to techUK, she worked as the Policy Manager at the education charity Teach First and as a Researcher at the Westminster think tank Reform. She is passionate about the potential of technology to change people's lives for the better, and working with the tech industry, the public sector and citizens to achieve this.

Emilie holds a master's degree in Philosophy and Public Policy from LSE. In her spare time she is currently trying to learn Persian and improve her table tennis skills.

[email protected]
+44 (0) 07523 481 331

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