Built on OpenTDF, SecureCycle reveals the power of end-to-end encryption to grant people complete, sovereign control over their reproductive health data
WASHINGTON, August 11, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Virtru, a global leader in data protection, today announced its upcoming demonstration of SecureCycle at DEF CON 30 in Las Vegas. SecureCycle is a prototype period tracking application built on OpenTDF, an open source project that gives software developers an easy way to incorporate end-to-end data encryption and privacy controls into their applications.
SecureCycle demonstrates how OpenTDF can enable powerful privacy controls and novel data sovereignty features within health related apps to give people complete control of their private information. Developers can start leveraging the technology behind SecureCycle right now by visiting the OpenTDF GitHub repository at opentdf.io.
Following the overturning of Roe v. Wade, industry experts have recommended forgoing the use of period tracking apps as the only way to ensure that personal health data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands and lead to potential prosecution. Recent analysis of the most popular period tracking apps showed that many store user data in the cloud and allow third-party tracking, meaning users’ data could be potentially sold, shared or handed over to prosecutors or other authorities. Virtru employees developed SecureCycle as part of its bi-annual Hackathon to demonstrate how OpenTDF can be used to solve real-world problems and pressing privacy issues.
“People have wanted this type of control over their consumer wellness apps for a long time. Enabling the user of a consumer health app to decrypt their personal health data through something like OpenTDF is a feature that, if widely adopted, could be a key competitive differentiator in a crowded marketplace. Those who want this type of control of their consumer app should have access to it," said Lucia Savage, former Chief Privacy Officer at the U.S. Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and currently Chief Privacy and Regulatory Officer, Omada Health (Omada is a Virtru customer).
“The beauty of the OpenTDF technology is that the possibilities are endless. It can – and in fact, SHOULD – be applied to all health and mental health apps that hold personal and private information,” said John Ackerly, CEO, Virtru. “SecureCycle was built on OpenTDF in just three days, demonstrating how OpenTDF can be easily embraced by the developer community.”
SecureCycle leverages end-to-end encryption offered by OpenTDF, which means data owners maintain complete control over who has access to their personal data, regardless of where that data is stored. What’s more, any attempt by a third party to access data will prompt a notification to the data owner (the app user in this case) with the choice to release their information to that party or not. SecureCycle demonstrates how developers can leverage OpenTDF to build applications that give people complete control over their data, shielding it from unauthorized access by third parties, including marketers, cloud service providers, or authorities.
If attending DEF CON, stop by Virtru’s SecureCycle product demo to learn more. The demo will be held between 2-4 pm on Saturday, August 13 at Caesar’s Forum, Las Vegas in the Accord Boardroom.
“Everyone should have ownership and autonomy over how their data is used, and recent Supreme Court decisions have made the need for data privacy all the more urgent,” said Will Ackerly, CTO, Virtru. “Our mission at Virtru has and will always be to put you, the data owner, as the sole arbiter of your destiny. SecureCycle, built on OpenTDF, represents a timely example of creating hardened applications that protect private health information.”
“Now more than ever, it’s important for people to know that they have a choice to protect their data. I often hear from friends that they end up using products for the features, and that when it comes to security, they don't have much of a choice. By building this app prototype, I think we are showing the market: There is a way to protect data, and there is a way to put the control back in the hands of the individual,” said Tarryn Lambert, UX Researcher and Design Manager, Virtru, who spearheaded the SecureCycle project.
“SecureCycle was created during Virtru’s bi-annual Innovation Week, a week of brainstorming and cross-team experimentation,” said Cassandra Bailey, Senior Product Manager, Virtru. “I am incredibly proud to be part of an organization that is willing to invest in its employees in this way and allow us to create a project that will set a new standard for data privacy in period tracking apps. There is no other period tracking app that we’re aware of that provides this level of data security.”
“Founded on ideals of accessibility and openness, SecureCycle provides easy to use encryption for all,” said Dana Morris, Senior Vice President, Product and Engineering, Virtru. “In doing so, it is putting the power back into the hands of the people, where it belongs.”
At Virtru, we empower organizations to easily unlock the power of data while maintaining control everywhere it’s stored and shared. More than 7,000 global customers trust Virtru to power their Zero Trust strategies and safeguard their most sensitive data in accordance with the world’s strictest security standards. Creators of TDF (Trusted Data Format), the open industry standard for persistent data protection, Virtru provides encryption technology for data shared through email, collaboration tools, cloud environments, and enterprise SaaS applications. For more information, visit https://www.virtru.com or follow us on Twitter at @virtruprivacy.