According to a reliable source, this idea came from a group of engineers working among themselves, who were former employees of the United States National Security Agency, as well as Google and Amazon Web Services.
All connected with the development of new algorithms and functions, as well as during the creation of new inventions, developers and engineers must operate with large volumes of data in a short amount of time. However the problem lay in accessing specific data due to confidentiality.
In many situations, due to the complexity of the bureaucratic system, obtaining such tolerances would take weeks, even months. Which had a knock-on effect in the development and invention process, making it extremely inefficient. For this reason, recently a new technology startup, Gretel, was developed and launched. Its’ main purpose, to help developers in the secure exchange of confidential information and necessary data in real-time.
What is GitHub and what is an IT hosting for developers?
As stated on the company website, GitHub is a cloud service which “brings together the world’s largest community of developers to discover, share, and build better software.”
The platform allows joint development of IT projects, various platforms, applications etc. using open source code. GitHub is used by most developers almost every day or other git-based tools.
The creators of this platform, call GitHub «social network for developers.»
Here, in addition to posting and working with the code, participants can comment on each other’s edits, communicate, watch the news and so on, in this profile.
Thanks to the Git system, programmers can integrate repositories.
GitHub offers a convenient interface for this, and can demonstrate the contribution of each of the participants in the form of a tree.
What exactly can be done with GitHub?
- On the site, you can view project files with syntax highlighting for most programming languages.
- It is possible to directly add new files to your personal repository.
- Creation of private repositories. They can be visible only to the developer and shared to specific users.
- You can now download and copy the Project Code in the form of regular archives from the site.
- The site has a paste-bin service gist.github.com for quick publication of code snippets.
- In addition to Git, the service supports receiving and editing code through SVN and Mercurial.
A statement by Alex Watson, one of the GitHub project managers, regarding the need and timeliness of creating a data project, found support among programmers of engineers and developers.
According to one of the co-founders of this project, Alex Watson: “This is not such a profile task as it might seem at first glance. Developers of any level may face similar problems. ” Often, developers do not need full access to the user data bank but a certain part, fragment or selection from the database, to complete their work. In most cases, the actual data used is that which looks real, suffices.
“In the beginning, you need to make data sharing secure,” Watson insisted. “Otherwise, there is a danger of the capture and use of private data by third parties.”
“At the moment, we are developing special software that enables developers to automatically receive an encrypted version of a data set.”
This “synthetic data» is artificially constructed data sets which look and behave like normal, confidential user data.
The Gretel platform, using artificial intelligence, categorizes data: names, addresses and other customer data, and assigns as many tags as possible to the data. After labeling data, you can apply access policies. Then this platform carries out a special differential privacy procedure (anonymization method for very large volumes of data). This allows you to untie the data from customer information. The result, Watson explains, is a “completely artificial dataset generated by machine learning.”
The project by this group of developers have already attracted the attention of investors and aroused public interest. At the moment, this startup has received an initial funding of $ 3.5 million, to launch the platform itself. Among investors, companies include Greylock Partners, Village Global and Moonshots Capital.
It is planned that the Gretel system will subsequently switch to a paid basis for its use, as similar cloud services offer. According to the plans of the company’s management, the first official launch of this platform will take place by the summer of 2020.