Privacy-Enhancing Technologies

Task Team of the UN Committee of Experts on Big Data and Data Science for Official Statistics


The Privacy-Enhancing Technologies Task Team (PETTT) is advising the UN Committee of Experts on Big Data and Data Science for Official Statistics (UN-CEBD) on Big Data on developing the data policy framework for governance and information management of the global platform, specifically around supporting privacy enhancing technique.

The task team has been active since April 2018 and has released the UN Privacy Preserving Techniques Handbook. This document describes motivations for privacy-preserving approaches for the statistical analysis of sensitive data; presents examples of use cases where such methods may apply; and describes relevant technical capabilities to assure privacy preservation while still allowing analysis of sensitive data. It currently covers techniques that support the protection and sharing of sensitive information: Secure Multiparty Computation, (Fully) Homomorphic Encryption, Trusted Execution Environments, Differential Privacy and Zero Knowledge Proofs.


This task team will evaluate, monitor and propose principles, policies, open standards for encryption within the UN Global Platform to cover the ethical use of data and the methods and procedures for the collection, processing, storage and presentation of data taking full account of data privacy, confidentiality and security issues.

Using the Open Standards, algorithms, policies and principles will reduce the risks associated with handling proprietary and sensitive information.


Within 12-24 months the task team will:

  • Evaluate, monitor and report on open standards and proprietary techniques to support sharing of sensitive and proprietary information.
  • Develop and propose principles and policies for encryption.
  • Evaluate using these techniques for new use-cases such as securing geospatial data.
  • Develop guidelines on the legal aspects of these privacy preserving techniques.
  • Support the development of training, exams and certifications for individuals in privacy techniques with the objective of candidates being able to develop methods and procedures for securely processing and exchanging proprietary and sensitive information.
  • Support the outreach activities of the UN Global Platform and participate in UN Big Data events.
  • Facilitate sharing of information and maintain international community about privacy-preserving techniques.

Completed Deliverables

  • UN Privacy Preserving Techniques Handbook

    The task team has released the Privacy Preserving Techniques Handbook and are currently working on proof of concepts of these techniques and their practical application including COVID-19 related use-cases and the legal aspects of these privacy preserving techniques.


Members have substantial experience and expertise in encryption techniques, algorithms and products/services. The membership will be reviewed annually.