Open Source project focuses on data control

The OpenTDF project will enable developers to incorporate Zero Trust Data Control into their applications.

Virtru has launched the OpenTDF project, an open source initiative. Developers can leverage OpenTDF to encrypt and protect sensitive data flowing in and out of their applications while applying data policies to enable Zero Trust data control.

Originally invented within the National Security Agency by Virtru’s founder, Will Ackerly, TDF has long existed as an open specification hosted by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Over the years, the TDF specification has informed numerous efforts to facilitate sharing of sensitive data across disparate domains. With the launch today of OpenTDF, developers have access to software development kits (SDKs) hosted in the OpenTDF GitHub repo. These SDKs will make it easier to build applications uniquely capable of governing sensitive data as it flows through documents, video feeds, IoT sensors, and multi-party analytics.

Use cases for OpenTDF include:

•Protect health information (PHI): Protecting personal health information and the ability to share medical history with a provider while maintaining control over that data

•Redact content within documents: Cryptographically enforced document redaction that protects words, sentences, or paragraphs of text based upon the security rights of the individual viewing the document

•Secure IoT sensor data: Providing granular access controls down to the packet level while also ensuring data integrity to safeguard against data spoofing

•Real-time chat and video conferencing: End-to-end protection of message content

•Integration with other platforms: Apache Kafka integration to secure data event streams from ingestion to consumption

“Virtru was built on the premise that people should have a basic right to determine what data they share and with whom. There should be no back doors and no third-party access requirements,” said John Ackerly, CEO of Virtru. “With this open implementation, customers and partners alike can incorporate industry-leading data control standards into their applications. We are excited to see how developers worldwide will leverage OpenTDF to deliver innovative Zero Trust data solutions that advance trust and respect for the data their organizations produce and share.”

“One of the world’s most important inventions, PDF was created by Adobe to facilitate sharing of documents between people using different computer operating systems, regardless of the application used to create the document,” said Will Ackerly, CTO of Virtru. “Just as PDF helped accelerate digital document sharing, TDF is poised to become the standard method for securely sharing sensitive data. TDF keeps rightful owners in sovereign control of information they share regardless of file type, application of origin, or authentication mechanisms.”


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