What can you do to add trust to strangeness?

I had plenty of questions when I became a first time parent, especially parenting in a country which is not my home country. At that time, I became part of a network where members of the network could share any concerns or questions related to children, health or education on a common platform, to gather feedback and learn from group members’ experiences. Most of members of the network were strangers to me and I preferred it that way because of that kind of platform provided me the following.

  1. I could share my concerns publicly, yet privately because the information I shared would  not be disclosed to any of my close friends or family.
  2. I would get unbiased feedback from the members because none of them were either friends or enemies of mine.
  3. The platform adhered to a set of policies where members did not advocate for any product or business.
  4. The questions I asked were based on my profile, which may or may not be my real-life profile thus providing anonymity.

I wondered almost every time why I chose to solicit information from strangers. The reason was very simple. Access to crowd sourced data: Multiple members freely sharing their experiences and learning continuously from each other without compromising privacy. This was very valuable to me as I was able to make reasonably good decision that suited my needs and helped me tremendously, while I navigated through various situations in an alien (to me) town. So when you are in the midst of strangeness and looking for genuine answers, make sure the platform provides the following:

  1. Privacy (= Data Privacy)
  2. Confidentiality (= Data Anonymity)
  3. Ability to combine information shared to gather useful actionable insights (= Data analytics)
  4. Control over my information/data (= Data control)
  5. Policies to enforce sharing of unbiased information (=Neutrality)

While the story above is more personal to mBinary worlde, I can imagine communities and societies being improved if multiple data sources can be mined and useful, actionable insights can be drawn. Data (Big!) sources that are generated by billions of consumer and business devices connected to the Internet can be mined for both personal and societal benefits.


What if pharmacies could combine their customers buying habits with companies that maintain genetic markers, so that researchers could use the unmodified aggregated information to invent medicines that could alleviate disease symptoms? Such aggregation of unmodified data requires a platform where players such as John and Ana, below, need not worry about privacy breach or privacy laws.


This is the exact problem Intel Labs researchers have set out to solve. Researchers at Intel Labs have invented a technology code named “Reliance Point” that provides a “neutral” platform, for companies with no prior trust relationship, to freely share, aggregate and analyze data without compromising anyone’s privacy. Researchers believe that the real power of data aggregation can only be unfolded when parties can freely share unmodified data without having to face consequences.

The neutrality in Reliance Point is established because it uses Intel® TXT (Trusted execution environment) to ensure that only the “agreed upon” algorithm is loaded on the platform thus facilitating unbiased negotiations

The data privacy and confidentiality is possible because the companies can choose the scope of data visibility in a transaction. For instance, the “‘-agreed upon” algorithm can only say that “A correct finger print has been validated,”  instead of “John’s finger print has been validated”

So, here is what you should do to add trust to strangeness:

  1. Learn about Reliance point in Intel® Software Adrenaline Issue
  2. Provide feedback
  3. Comment here if you want to test drive Reliance Point
  4. Follow Intel Labs on social media channels to stay tuned.
Divya Kolar

About Divya Kolar

Divya Kolar holds a M.S in Computer Science conferred in 2006 from Portland State University. She joined Intel in 2005 and has previously worked as a Software Engineer where she was an active researcher in various security and manageability technologies like Intel® Active Management Technology. Today she is a Vision Strategist in the Intel’s largest research group and is responsible to promote Intel technologies to external media partners besides performing ecosystem enabling and competitive technology analysis for Intel Labs’ microprocessor research. Besides her responsibilities at Intel she has always been enthusiastic in promoting and encouraging young adults to stay in computing. She is an active board member for the largest women employee group at Intel and has been an active member in Anita Borg Institute and local SWE chapters since 2007 and has conducted multiple presentations at these conferences for over 5 years.

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