Trusted Data, Revised And Expanded Edition

Trusted Data, Revised And Expanded Edition

A New Framework for Identity and Data Sharing

Edited by Thomas Hardjono, David L. Shrier and Alex Pentland

How to create an Internet of Trusted Data in which insights from data can be extracted without collecting, holding, or revealing the underlying data.

MIT Connection Science & Engineering





How to create an Internet of Trusted Data in which insights from data can be extracted without collecting, holding, or revealing the underlying data.

Trusted Data describes a data architecture that places humans and their societal values at the center of the discussion. By involving people from all parts of the ecosystem of information, this new approach allows us to realize the benefits of data-driven algorithmic decision making while minimizing the risks and unintended consequences. It proposes a software architecture and legal framework for an Internet of Trusted Data that provides safe, secure access for everyone and protects against bias, unfairness, and other unintended effects. This approach addresses issues of data privacy, security, ownership, and trust by allowing insights to be extracted from data held by different people, companies, or governments without collecting, holding, or revealing the underlying data. The software architecture, called Open Algorithms, or OPAL, sends algorithms to databases rather than copying or sharing data. The data is protected by existing firewalls; only encrypted results are shared. Data never leaves its repository. A higher security architecture, ENIGMA, built on OPAL, is fully encrypted.

Contributors Michiel Bakker, Yves-Alexandre de Montjoye, Daniel Greenwood, Thomas Hardjoni, Jake Kendall, Cameron Kerry, Bruno Lepri, Alexander Lipton, Takeo Nishikata, Alejandro Noriega-Campero, Nuria Oliver, Alex Pentland, David L. Shrier, Jacopo Staiano, Guy Zyskind

An MIT Connection Science and Engineering Book


$30.00 X ISBN: 9780262043212 400 pp. | 5.375 in x 8 in 51 b&w illus.


Thomas Hardjono

Thomas Hardjono is Technology Director of the MIT Connection Science and the MIT Trust::Data Consortium.

David L. Shrier

David L. Shrier holds a dual appointment as a Lecturer at the MIT Media Lab and an Associate Fellow at the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. He is coeditor of New Solutions for Cybersecurity (MIT Press).

Alex Pentland

Alex “Sandy” Pentland directs the MIT-wide initiative MITConnection Science. Called one of the “seven most powerful data scientists in the world” by Forbes, he has cofounded more than a dozen companies and is the author of Honest Signals (MIT Press) and Social Physics.


  • Building trust is one of the most pressing issues of our time, and an increasingly important part of long-term business success. Trusted Data sets out the framework to build trust in the digital age—a must read for anyone looking to capture sustainable value in the information economy.

    Greg Medcraft

    Director for Financial and Enterprise Affairs, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

  • For too long, we have had to accept compromising our data and privacy for digital interactions. This needs to stop. Trusted Data takes a close look at the architecture and policy required for trusted interactions. It is required reading for everyone who cares about their personal data and how it's shared.

    Ajay Bhalla

    President, Cyber and Intelligence Solutions, Mastercard; Connection Science Fellow, MIT