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Google open-sources its privacy protection tools

(Image credit: Image Credit: Asif Islam / Shutterstock)

Google has announced the open-source release of some of its top privacy protection systems.

The release of the company's differential privacy library will help organisations of all sizes build new tools that can collect data from users without revealing personally identifiable information to anyone inside or outside their business.

Google says that businesses across a number of industries will be able to benefit from the launch, which can also help boost user trust and support as more and more people become increasingly concerned about their privacy online.

“Whether you’re a city planner, a small business owner, or a software developer, gaining useful insights from data can help make services work better and answer important questions,” Miguel Guevara, a product manager in the company’s Privacy and Data Protection Office, wrote in a blog post announcing the news. 

“But, without strong privacy protections, you risk losing the trust of your citizens, customers, and users. Differentially-private data analysis is a principled approach that enables organisations to learn from the majority of their data while simultaneously ensuring that those results do not allow any individual’s data to be distinguished or re-identified.”

Google has included a number of the most common functions that are hard for developers to build from scratch, and has also bundled comprehensive testing tools to fine-tune systems before launching.

The news comes days after Google was accused of secretly tracking user browsing habits across the internet, with the data then passed on to advertisers.