Ever since information security became a key topic in the technology industry, encryption technology has continued to improve, setting a seemingly unattainable bar for privacy protection. AI is another topic for the tech industry, focusing on using massive amounts of data to train AI models and accelerate the intelligentization of terminal devices. While all of this is happening, the market faces a new problem: figuring out how to balance data security and privacy while also providing data to train AI models. From this issue a new startup named DeCloak Intelligences was born.
DeCloak launches de-identification technology to deal with data privacy issues
Headquartered in Taipei's Neihu Technology Park, DeCloak Intelligences is Taiwan's first solutions supplier to specialize in information security, privacy protection and privacy computing. Yao-Yung Tsou, the company's co-founder and co-president explained that "differential privacy" is the core technology used in DeCloak's de-identification products. Using this as a base, the company has a privacy processing unit (PPU), privacy processing USB dongle, and privacy processing SIM card film. It also has a suite of data privacy computing software packages designed specifically for enterprise organizations that merges multiple data security computing solutions and data fusion mechanisms.
The PPU is designed like an ASIC and is technologically independent. The USB dongle uses the PPU and can be used to help notebook users. When confidential data needs to be transmitted, the USB dongle can directly de-identify data, ensuring that important information cannot be stolen by a third party.
Tsou said any private or confidential information that is to be used for big data analysis or data fusion applications must go through de-identification to prevent third parties from seeing any important or detailed information.
Need for de-identification soars as data analysis becomes norm
The interactions between the users and the systems in applications created by 5G, AIoT or other technologies can be de-identified through the software and hardware provided by DeCloak. Personal data can be converted into non-personal data so it can be used by third parties, while also accounting for privacy.
From an industry perspective, entities such as banks and hospitals hold large amounts of personal data, but if they want to conduct analysis on a group of users, it cannot be done with the data from a single hospital or bank alone. At this time, each bank would have to solve the privacy issue for the provided data. That is why the concept of de-identification is so important.
Justin Chueh, co-founder and co-president of DeCloak, noted that the logistics industry is another important application market. Generally speaking, e-commerce and logistics companies have the receiver's personal data, with the main objective to ensure the recipient receives their package without a hitch. As a result, a certain degree of personal data is exchanged between the two parties. However, the problem is that logistics companies do not want to take on the cost of personal data or risk of a data leak. At the same time, when considering their own interests, e-commerce companies do not want to give personal data over to logistics companies. Under these circumstances, if logistics services could be carried out using non-personal data, all their problems would be solved.
DeCloak is currently working with logistics companies in Taiwan and hopes to further develop non-personal data logistics services.
Seeking more cooperation opportunities at CES 2022
CES 2022 will be DeCloak's third appearance at the exhibition. The goal of participating in the show is to find more partners. For example, major China-based home appliance manufacturers would need the help of DeCloak's de-identification technology to be able to sell their products in Europe.
In fact, the number of startups that have invested in privacy protection has grown significantly in the last two years. This growth should come as no surprise with regions such as Europe and the US focusing on information security and privacy protection.
Chueh pointed out that private power plants and smart power grids in the European and US markets take privacy protection very seriously. Now with everyone engaged in power trading, DeCloak is eager to add these companies to its list of customers.
DeCloak co-founders Yao-Yung Tsou (second from right) and Justin Chueh (third from left) with their team.