Virtual Public Registers

The Virtual Public Registers Platform (VPR Platform) represents a system that facilitate confidential collaboration across public registers i.e. a system that virtually combine and use public registers. A first version of this system was constructed in the project “Big Data by Security” funded by the Danish Industry Foundation. This project explored, in close collaboration with Statistics Denmark, how MPC could be used to further the use of sensitive data from public registers. Today Statistics Denmark allows researchers to run statistics on sensitive information via remote access within a secure perimeter inside of Statistics Denmark (“research service”). The virtual platform system, however, uses MPC to facilitate collaborative statistics across independent public registers and perimeters. The HEDAX project will test the VPR Platform through two healthcare cases. The initial work is funded by both the Danish Industry Foundation and the Innovation Fund Denmark.

The illustration show the VPR Platform in the initial “sandbox” testing where the Danish Health Data Organisation (SDS) and Statistics Denmark (DST) operate and control the virtual platform (they are the Computing Parties). The MPC protocol ensures that neither of the public registers can access the encrypted data. Compromising the system would require security breaches in both institutions, which is also the case today without any collaboration. Even an adversary that manage to tap and decrypt all of the encrypted data send back and forth between the two registers, would not be able to breach the data from neither SDS nor DST with brute force. The VPR Platform allows a third-party analyst to add its own encrypted data and to run a predefined computation on the virtually combined data. Only the predefined results are revealed to the third-party analyst.

The VPR Platform changes the role of the public registers from approving with whom to share data to approving a well-defined use of data and results revealed to the third-party analyst. This change may open up for more data collaboration between public registers and all types of analysts or services. The VPR Platform is not a substitute to the present “research service” offering but rather a complementary and extended service beyond research. The many potential use cases will be explored as the VPR Platform becomes a reality.

The VPR Platform is also part of a larger project on developing public-private infrastructure designed for privacy-preserving data exchange. The infrastructure is designed to work with both public registers and private data sources. The public-private infrastructure will virtually link and compute on data across existing public and private data sources as oppose to creating new data silos.

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