IBM patents privacy engine for cross-border data sharing

Big Blue says the engine will eventually enable businesses to aggregate international requirements for data transfers and flag any cross-border privacy issues.

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IBM announced Friday that it has patented the design for a privacy engine that safeguards data shared across borders.

While still in its infancy, IBM says the engine will eventually enable businesses to aggregate international requirements for data transfers on individual projects and flag any cross-border privacy issues. The idea is to make it easier to not only transfer data between countries, but also data shared between private clouds. 

For example, say there’s a global company working on a project that requires transferring employee data via the cloud from the US to Italy. The company could use the privacy engine to spot potential violations and alert the compliance team with any relevant details. 

"Global businesses today face significant challenges in protecting personal data and keeping up with regulations in an environment where information is moving at record speeds across borders," said Christina Peters, IBM’s chief privacy officer. "Our new invention provides a privacy technique that helps businesses navigate an increasingly complex compliance landscape of regulations to help companies avoid unknowingly sharing data that could put their business at risk."

The privacy engine is the latest in a string of efforts from Big Blue to focus a large chunk of its $6 billion R&D budget in security and analytics. IBM has managed to grow its portfolio of security services to become the world's third largest security vendor by revenue. 

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