Facebook, R3 and Others Join Linux Foundation’s Confidential Computing Consortium (CCC)

UTC by Bhushan Akolkar · 3 min read
Facebook, R3 and Others Join Linux Foundation’s Confidential Computing Consortium (CCC)
Photo: Depositphotos

The new members of the CCC will be leverage confidential computing that aims at protecting confidential user data by having a separate storage place free from the main operating system.

Linux Foundation’s privacy-focused group – Confidential Computing Consortium (CCC) – continues its expansion with new members. Big names like Facebook, NVIDIA, R3, IoTex, Accenture and six other members have recently joined CCC.

Created last year in 2019, Linux CCC aims to offer its members an additional layer of data security using a Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) technologies and standards. The TEE standards also help members to store data away from the applications on the main operating system. Thus, in case the adversaries get access to your main operating system, the data still remains protected.

If your data remains within the TEE, unauthorized players won’t have any access to the data. Thus, they can neither view the data nor alter it to their own quest. It means that applications and other systems can run without any access to confidential data like personally identifiable information or other financial information. The utmost need for data privacy has been like never before and we have seen how even big organizations like Facebook have been vulnerable to data-privacy issues.

Stephen Walli, the chairperson of the CCC’s governing board, said: “Securing data-in-use in hardware-based TEEs, can … strengthen other security- and integrity-related technologies,” like running a blockchain ledger.

Linux CCC: Importance of Confidential Computing Cloud

Confidential Data computing cloud is the demand of our generation and can make a huge impact on people’s privacy. Raullen Chai, CEO of IoTex, explained two major use-cases for this. The concept of facial recognition in public places is currently under major debate and scrutiny.

Privacy-centric people often don’t want their faces scanned and analyzed by governments or third-party players. On the other hand, governments stress the importance of using facial recognition for better security and the public good. In an email to CoinDesk, Chai wrote:

“Confidential computing brings privacy-preserving smart devices to the next level by not only allowing users to own their private data, but also to use it in a privacy-preserving way. This has major implications for consumer-facing industries such as health care and smart homes, as well as enterprise for private multi-party data sharing and interactions.”

He further added: “Reactive regulations will never achieve the goal of satisfying both sides, but confidential computing orchestrated by blockchain can. With confidential computing, facial recognition processes can be executed within a secure TEE-based confidential computing environment, where the raw data (people’s faces) and a cross-referencing database of faces can be analyzed and subsequently forgotten after the desired results are obtained by governments.”

Contact Tracing to Track Crucial Information

Another potential use-case that Chai explains is contract tracing, especially in situations like the currency COVID-19 pandemic. To explain it, Chai cites Google’s Project Baseline, which leverages users’ location and health data to combat COVID-19. Although Google Cloud is a member of the CCC, there are some anomalies to its data collection.

Google Cloud’s terms and conditions prevent users from deleting their health data once submitted. Chai notes that confidential computing can help overcome these issues in initiatives like the Project Baseline. Confidential computing will only permit access to sensitive data crucial for public health. Besides, it will give users the confidence to trace their data sharing and revoke it any time they feel.

Moreover, using the blockchain technology computers using TEEs can work in a coordinated mechanism. This allows data access among third-parties without having trust issues in place. Also, using blockchain-based smart contracts users can set the rules of engagement.

Confidential computing merged with blockchain use can possibly create wonders and solve the decade-long worries of secure data and information sharing.

Cloud Computing, Cybersecurity News, News, Technology News
Bhushan Akolkar

Bhushan is a FinTech enthusiast and holds a good flair in understanding financial markets. His interest in economics and finance draw his attention towards the new emerging Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency markets. He is continuously in a learning process and keeps himself motivated by sharing his acquired knowledge. In free time he reads thriller fictions novels and sometimes explore his culinary skills.

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