Google Privacy Library for Data Analysis

At a time when data security is increasingly important, Google’s new library is a welcome addition to the world of technology. With millions of internet users around the world (and that number continues to grow), data protection is a leading concern. Currently, corporations, governments, and entire countries are collecting data from web users without any concrete data protection mechanism. This puts vital information at a high risk of data breaches and hacks. The purpose of Google’s new library is to provide entities with a means of analyzing data without sacrificing individuals’ information.

What is the library?

Google’s open source library is essentially a creation prompted by the US Census. Since 1790, the Census has collected and stored vital and confidential personal information for Americans. To date, however, data protection for that vital information has been lacking. However, Google’s new library aims to address that issue. The library benefits developers in many ways. It gives them an opportunity to perform statistical functions, mechanisms, budget management, and more. The library joins an open source family that includes the Randomized Aggregatable Privacy-Preserving Ordinal Response, which is used on Chrome, and the TensorFlow AI platform. It is one of Google’s latest data protection tools.

How it works

The new Google library is a differential privacy tool. Using sophisticated algorithms and software, it recognizes sensitive information in browser searches and prevents it from being traced. The library is a form of data science that seeks to protect data using cryptography. Through careful analysis, the library collects insight and vital information from voluminous data sets. All the while, it protects user privacy by combining real user data with “white noise,” which is random and non-factual information mixed with the real data. The goal of the “white noise” is to confuse hackers and make it hard for them to sort real data from artificial data. Using this approach, the library prevents hackers from finding identifying information and tracing it back to a source.

Who uses the library?

The library is useful in many business sectors. It is also used by individuals. Some key users of the library include:

  • Healthcare
  • Government
  • Large corporations
  • Small businesses

These are just a few of the industries and sectors that benefit from the library. Industries such as healthcare and sociology, which rely heavily on statistical information, are especially good candidates for using the library. These sectors are among the highest-risk industries for data loss given the high volume of personal data they store. Restaurants, retail stores, and business owners looking to track revenue and expenses can do so safely and easily with the new library.

What makes it more secure?

There are many layers of Google’s library that make it a very secure form of data protection. The Google library is Apache-licensed CC++. It contains a number of features that are difficult to construct from scratch. The library includes a number of statistical functions that developers rely on such as sum, mean, variance, and count. This means that developers can safely and accurately access information without jeopardizing consumer data in the process. Within the main library is a second library designed for continual rigorous testing. The testing platform has a number of recipes and a PostgreSQL extension that adds additional layers of privacy and protection.

Collectively, these features make the library a useful feature for developers and general consumers who want to analyze data and create tools that support business growth or drive research without sacrificing the identity of end users in the process.

Hardware-Based Privacy Protection

While the privacy library keeps hackers at bay with their “white noise” algorithms, the company analyzing the data needs to ensure it is kept secure within their operations. Theft of company information still poses a serious problem in the tech world. The library may serve to protect the data from outsiders, but is still left in the hands of the analyzers.

Additionally, the program is software-based, meaning it may require updates throughout its life span. This results in vulnerabilities and a possible lack of data if there is a glitch on the host system or a power outage that affects a company’s infrastructure.

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