Plexal and the Information Commissioner's Office are taking part in a consultation with health organisations and healtech companies that will shape guidelines on privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs).

Privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs) help organisations build trust and unlock the potential of data by putting data minimisation and data protection by design into practice.

But not enough companies are using them.

That’s why the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), with funding from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, is working with Plexal to understand what’s stopping organisations from using PETs.

Our focus is on the healthcare sector, where organisations are handling highly sensitive data that could lead to game-changing, life-saving innovations.

Our consultation, which will shape the guidelines and policy recommendations the ICO makes later this year, is already under way.


We’re hosting a series of in-person workshops and virtual interviews with health organisations. All our workshops will follow the Chatham House Rule and our interviews are off the record so you can be as open as possible.   

Our consultation is already under way but if you have any questions or you want to get involved, email us on connect@plexal.com 


Get involved if you’re any one of these:

Health organisations and healthtech startups that aren’t using PETs yet

Businesses that are successfully using PETs

Academic experts/researchers in this field

Suppliers of PETs

Legal and data protection experts

“We’re entering a new era where the businesses that are able to implement privacy and security by design will enjoy market dominance. The others will be written out of history.

Privacy-enhancing technologies are set to be critical for enabling companies to innovate using data analytics and machine learning – but to harness data you have to make sure you’re protecting it, or you’ll lose trust.”

– Andrew Roughan, Managing Director, Plexal


What are PETs?

A privacy-enhancing technology is any technology that protects the privacy or confidentiality of sensitive information.

PETs make it possible for an organisation to implement data minimisation by design to protect people’s sensitive information, as well as minimise the identifiability of personal data. PETs can also make it easier to comply with data protection legislation.



How are PETs being used?

A pilot by cybersecurity startup Privitar showed that partial homomorphic encryption can enable financial institutions to gather data insights from private and public sources without collecting any identifiable information. And during the pandemic, Apple and Google teamed up and used a PET to support digital contract tracing that securely used people’s location data.



Why do they matter?

The Digital Regulation Plan sets the expectation that “businesses and other organisations are able to use data innovatively”. But you can’t innovate with data unless you protect it.

The ICO wants to make PETs the norm and help organisations unlock the potential of data by protecting it by design.


See more of our work on our innovation page and get in touch if you'd like us to design a programme around your challenge.

Find Us

Plexal’s based at Here East: a tech campus in east London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. We’re a five-minute walk from Hackney Wick train station, or you can catch the free shuttle bus from Stratford train, underground and bus stations.


14 East Bay Lane, The Press Centre, Here East, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, E20 3BS


We’re open Monday-Friday from 6am-12am, Saturday - Sunday 10am-6pm