Skip to content

Event series: Privacy Enhancing Technologies in Practice

Date: 19 November 2020 14:00 - 15 December 2020 11:15

I n collaboration with Newton Gateway to Mathematics this event series provides four workshops from 19 November to 15 December each session will feature conversations with experts who are deploying privacy enhancing technologies, as well as end-users who are interested in applying them. This listing is for the multiple events across the series, registrants will be able to register for one or all workshops.


Companies have been repeatedly told that data is one of their most valuable commodities, but realising the full value of that data may require re-mixing, comparison, or computation against data held by others. Unfortunately, sharing data is one of the hardest things for companies to do, because of the perceived commercial and legal risks. Even within a single organisation, sharing data can be considered to create large security or privacy risks.

The last few years have seen the emergence of technologies which allow for the secure collection, sharing, processing, and storage of data without the downsides of reducing privacy of users, or compromising corporate security. These privacy enhancing technologies (PETs) have the capacity to make data sharing both safe and effective. These technologies form the basis of various new ways of doing business, with many being highlighted in recent Gartner reports as opening up new ways of exploiting data.

This series of events will look further at case studies, models and demonstrators that show such techniques can perform what at first sight seems impossible: to process data without seeing it. The technology is so counterintuitive, and opens up such new ways of working, that we have identified a need to facilitate a greater understanding of these technologies amongst end-users, without them necessarily needing to know exactly “how” it works.

Due to COVID-19 this workshop will now run virtually in a series of four weekly one and a half hour events, starting on 19th November 2020. The November/December events will feature conversations with experts who are deploying this technology, as well as end-users who are interested in applying them.

Who should attend?

Developed with academic partners and in collaboration with the Digital Catapult, this events series recognises the need to help business and industry find effective ways to utilise these new privacy enhancing technologies. Therefore, these events will be of interest to anyone in business and industry who has a need to share and/or process data securely, as well as those focused on corporate cyber security.

About the series of workshops

Events one to three will feature talks from experts from companies developing these technologies. The talks will highlight why PET technologies can be trusted and how they enable the value in data to be unlocked; without needing to compromise on the privacy or security of the said data. They will also highlight how users can go about exploring and running tests on them, across a range of potential application domains, from inter- to intra- company security.

Thursday 19 November 2020, 14.00-15.15 – Multiparty computation

Multiparty computation (MPC) – Dan Bogdanov (Cybernetica) with Nigel Smart (KU Leuven)

A sub-field of cryptography which has been applied to many use cases with potential applications in long-term shared data governance. Current deployed applications ranging from data sharing within organisations through to securing an organisations internal infrastructure..

Monday 30 November 2020, 10.00-11.15 – Fully homomorphic encryption

Fully homomorphic encryption schemes (FHE) – Rand Hindi (Zama) and Nigel Smart (KU Leuven)

A form of encryption which allows computations on encrypted data.

Tuesday 8 December 2020, 14.00-15.15 – Zero knowledge proofs

Zero knowledge proofs (ZK proofs) – Eli Ben Sasson (Starkware) and Nigel Smart (KU Leuven)

A cryptographic technology that allows one party to prove a statement to another, without the need to reveal the actual values being proven. Such technology forms the basis of many new applications in distributed ledgers/blockchain.

Tuesday 15 December 2020, 10.00-11.15 – End user perspectives

End-User Perspectives – Mark Craddock (GCATI), Matt Lowe (Financial Conduct Authority), Nichola Newton (National Nuclear Laboratory).

Perspectives from end-users considering using PETs and what the potential challenges for implementing the technology might be. To include discussion of the work of the UN Privacy Preserving Techniques Task Team from the BigData UN Global

Working Group on a secure data policy framework. There will also be insights into PETs in the financial sector, such as how they cans can facilitate the sharing of information about money laundering and financial crime concerns, while remaining compliant with data security laws.

Tuesday 19 January 2021, 10.00-11.15 – PETs from an Investors Perspective

PETs from an Investors Perspective – Lawrence Lundy (Lunar Ventures), Yuval Shahar (Team 8), Alex van Someren (Amadeus Capital Partners)

Discussing the benefits of PETs within this sector and where the opportunities lie.


How to attend

Registrations to this series of events are being taken on the Newton Gateway to Mathematics website here.