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Abstract

The enforcement of the GDPR regulation has shed a new light on data protection and privacy issues in both care and research. The risk of re-identification is becoming a key concern for all regulations. This legitimate precautionary principle, from the individual liberties point of view, unfortunately translates into constraints on the sharing of scientific data. GDPR may thus impact research reproducibility in science, data-sharing efforts and ultimately data-driven care for patients.
WeData proposes a solution that allows to transform sensitive data into synthetic ones called avatars. Avatars are the result of a differentiating data driven conceptual approach. They aim first and foremost to protect patients by achieving true anonymization in the sense of GDPR. The method has indeed been audited and certified by the CNIL, coupled with metrics assessing the risk of re-identification and providing a control over the security of produced data regarding privacy. However, and contrary to traditional anonymization methods, avatars keep the full statistical properties and therefore the value of the original data. The data transformed by WeData's avatarization method retains the same structure as the original data, allowing complex analyses similar to those that could be performed on the raw data without compromising the privacy of the individuals who generated the data. Avatarization is a fast and efficient way to comply with GDPR without altering the value of its data, thus changing the paradigm in data sharing. Avatars are no longer considered as personal data as reidentification is in practice unmanageable. Avatars can therefore be valued and stored without any time limit releasing the dormant potential of data by allowing sharing, valuation, transparency and reproducibility of results.

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