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Irish tech company Trūata wins first place at the international Privacy-Enhancing Technologies Prize Challenge

March 2023 by Marc Jacob

Trūata, a provider of privacy-enhanced data solutions, has been awarded first place and a prize of GBP£40,000 in the PETs Prize Red Team Challenge: Advancing Privacy-Preserving Federated Learning. The challenge was organized jointly by the UK’s Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation and Innovate UK and the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the US, with the winners announced at the Summit for Democracy 2023 event, convened by President Joe Biden.

The challenge was designed to encourage the use of privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs) to address global societal challenges, specifically related to detecting financial crime and bolstering responses to a pandemic. The focus was to find solutions that could reduce privacy risks by enabling the training of Machine Learning models on distributed datasets without the need to co-locate or merge the required datasets held by multiple parties.

Trūata entered the ‘red team’ component, which allowed teams to attack the submissions of challenge participants and verify the strengths of the privacy claims being made. Trūata entered in the UK section of the competition and reviewed four submissions. The outputs and codebases of all submissions were analyzed and real-world attack scenarios were then simulated to gain a deeper understanding of potential vulnerabilities.

The team used Trūata Calibrate, a privacy risk assessment software product to quantify sources of risk in the original datasets. They were successful in highlighting several areas of potential weakness and further opportunities for improvement within the submissions.

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