Share the insights, not the data: TNO launches Linksight spin-off for privacy-friendly data analysis

1 July 2021

Linksight is a spin-off set up by TNO that enables organisations to analyse privacy-sensitive datasets, without the underlying data being shared or viewed. The data always remains exclusively at the source.


For this purpose, Linksight uses multi-party computation(MPC) for computing encrypted data and blockchain technology for decentralised governance. Linksight is building on TNO encryption technology, which has been developed in collaboration with market players and is now mature enough to be deployed in practice.

This way of working can solve various data-sharing problems, such as:

  • Medical research without sharing patient data, for example between hospitals, insurers or pharmaceutical companies
  • Fraud investigations where nothing more is learned than is necessary, even between different departments within one company
  • Benchmarking between companies without revealing competitively-sensitive data.

From a legal point of view, use of the Linksight platform represents a very strong implementation of the GDPR.

Data-driven working requires new way of sharing data

Many companies and government bodies want to be ‘data-driven’, meaning that they want to make decisions based on facts that are themselves based on data. To do this, they frequently need sensitive data from other parties in the chain. These could be personal data or competitively-sensitive data. At the same time, there is increasing awareness and enforcement of privacy rules (GDPR) and a growing risk of data breaches. This often causes conflict in practice, so that many organisations are unable to obtain the insights that they seek to operate in a genuinely data-driven fashion. The time is therefore ripe for a new way of sharing data, solely to gain insight and not to obtain the underlying data.

Linksight makes innovative encryption technology applicable

Multi-party computation: shared insight without sharing data.

To this end, Linksight offers a software platform for privacy-friendly, decentralised data analysis, based on secure multi-party computation (MPC) and blockchain technology. MPC is an innovative cryptographic technique that parties can use to discover and monitor statistical connections as if they have access to each other’s data, without actually sharing or tracing sensitive data. Blockchain technology is used to determine who may perform which calculations and with which data.

This unique combination of MPC and blockchain technology creates a decentralised and scalable platform that enables parties to connect easily and makes it easy for them to reach agreements on calculations using each other’s data and to perform these out in an automated fashion.

Linksight offers a legally validated platform

The Linksight platform was developed in co-creation with players from the market, and it has been legally validated by external legal experts. The platform comprehensively implements principles from the GDPR, such as privacy-by-design, purpose limitation, proportionality and data minimisation.

As a result, this platform provides a new paradigm for data-sharing in healthcare and other sectors that is technically and legally underpinned.

Martine van de Gaar, CEO and co-founder of Linksight: ‘Through the Linksight technology, organisations can really become data-driven, while at the same time improving the privacy of their clients.’

Berry Vetjens, Director Market ICT at TNO: ‘At TNO we are particularly proud that our many years of technology development are bearing fruit and that with Linksight, they can produce a marketable application. This feels like a breakthrough for privacy-friendly data analysis in the Netherlands.’