Blog Kevin Doubleday02.17.23

Top Trends in Data Sharing for 2023

As more organizations engage in data sharing in 2023, these are the top trends, enabling technologies, and architectures emerging to power collaboration at scale.

Data sharing isn’t just about sending links. Rather, it is about giving the right people (and machines) access to the right information at the right time. It’s about keeping an eye on what you’ve shared, and ceasing to share when necessary. Increasingly, data sharing is also about feeding new innovations, such as AI apps, high-quality data that will fuel transformative ways of living and working. 

Here are some of this year’s top trends in data sharing. Some build on last year’s trends, others are new. All represent an acceleration down the road of data centricity

1. Privacy and Security Governance Across Data Lifecycle

For about two decades, companies have profited by collecting, using and selling user data. Collected anonymously, this data has long been dismissed by users as the price of keeping things like Google and social media free. 

Where there is treasure, however, there are pirates. If moral objections to the monetization of user data weren’t threatening enough, data theft certainly is. Every year, the Verizon Data Breach Investigations report comes out with new and terrifying figures. 2022 saw a 13% increase in ransomware, 80% of data breaches coming from external actors, and a slew of supply chain problems that were also hacker opportunities. 

Increasingly smart applications like facial recognition, combined with rising tensions between the world powers of the U.S, China, Russia, and Europe, mean that state actors also pose threats. Information warfare is, after all, an act of warfare, and it is in every country’s interest to protect user data. Europe’s GDPR is an early example of policy reacting to threats. 

Our societal focus on data privacy and security is only heightening. How do you know if you’re sharing your personal data with that cloud app and not some guy on the dark web as well? Is a website’s encryption enough to really protect your data, or is it, like the secure socket layer (SSL) on almost every website, prone to attacks? In 2023 more than ever, the focus will be on access controls, advanced encryption, and transparency in where your data is going, when, and to whom. 

2. Decentralized data sharing

On one hand, decentralization is a response to the security and privacy threats floating around the internet. Decentralized systems are less vulnerable to cyberattacks and data breaches because the data is distributed across multiple nodes, making it harder for hackers to access all the data at once. Users also have more control over their data, deciding who can access which data and when, and tracing data provenance (where data goes, to whom and when). The combination of control and transparency makes decentralization a natural protection against privacy- and security threats.

On the other hand, data is becoming more decentralized as more organizations participate in cross-border data sharing ecosystems. Whether mandated by law, or to gain a competitive advantage, organizations are now having to work more efficiently with third parties, integrating shared, distributed data assets. 

These systems often use peer-to-peer architecture, where each node in the system can act as both a client and a server. Systems can handle a large amount of data and concurrent connections without becoming overwhelmed, and scale up or down without significant changes to their infrastructure. 

The ability to handle a lot of users and data without becoming overwhelmed makes decentralized systems eminently compatible with the challenges and opportunities of 2023. How do you become data-driven and secure? How do you use AI without bottlenecking your systems? How do you give users more control over their own data? Decentralization has technological answers to all of those modern quandaries. 

3. Verifiable credentials

Verifiable Credentials can potentially make credential data sharing ecosystems more trusted, secure, and efficient. 

Just as the Apple- and Google wallets killed–or significantly slimmed down–the folding wallet, verifiable credentials are poised to significantly reduce dependencies on paper and plastic documents for identity or credential verification. 

From the standpoint of government agencies, title companies and anyone else who produces paper or plastic documents, verifiable credentials are inexpensive to produce and distribute. From the point of view of anyone who has ever had to send over a copy of their driver’s license, digitally sign a mortgage document, or otherwise replicate personal information for the sake of getting ahead in life, verifiable credentials offer a lot more privacy and autonomy, while also reducing costs on verifiers for automated review and approval. 

4. Interoperability 

Data interoperability enables different systems to share and exchange information seamlessly. Think of your ability to control your home’s lights, garage door, TV and so on through an app like Apple Home. Even though each object has its own sensors, Apple Home makes it easy to see and control them from one place. You can almost feel the convenience. 

The same is true of any interoperable system. Right now, it’s hard to see doctors in different healthcare systems because you need to make specific requests to begin the transfer of electronic healthcare records (EHR). If all of your EHR sat on an Apple Home-like app, and you had complete control over how much of each record to share, with whom and when, a big chunk of friction would be removed from life. 

Interoperability makes apps smarter and more convenient—the long-awaited realization of the internet being more like a virtual assistant than a cesspool of information.

Interoperability requires different engineering under the hood. For now, most data is siloed in separate systems, essentially growing stale with time. Interoperability requires teams to extract, transform and load (ETL) data from various siloed systems into a data warehouse before it can be investigated for insights and shared. 

Semantic Interoperability that uses global standards cuts out the ETL process, enabling “zero-copy-integration,” a nirvana for data sharing that reduces duplication and instead focuses on opening up “golden records” to permissioned parties. Different systems, applications and data sources can be integrated without data engineering plumbing, leading to more opportunities for innovation and less opportunities for bottlenecks or attack surfaces. Moreover, interoperable data is more easily auditable and traceable, which makes it easier to ensure that data is accurate, complete, and compliant with regulations.

Enterprises are already doing the heavy lifting to transform years of legacy data into interoperable data. Startups are focusing on interoperability while developing new products. 2023 will only see an acceleration of that trend.

5. Secure Multi-Party Computation

Multi-party computation (MPC) is a cryptographic technique that allows multiple parties to jointly compute a function over their private inputs without revealing those inputs to one another. This makes it a promising solution for secure data sharing, as it enables

parties to collaborate on data analysis and processing while maintaining the privacy and confidentiality of their data.

MPC has gained a lot of attention in recent years, as organizations increasingly seek to share data with partners or third parties in a secure manner. For instance, in the healthcare sector, hospitals may want to collaborate on medical research while keeping patient data private. In the finance sector, multiple banks may want to share data to detect fraudulent transactions while maintaining the confidentiality of customer data.

MPC can also be used to enable secure voting and auctions, and it has applications in areas such as machine learning and blockchain technology.

One of the benefits of MPC is that it does not rely on a trusted third party to coordinate the computation. Instead, it uses cryptographic protocols to ensure that each party’s private input remains hidden from the others, while allowing them to collectively compute a result. This makes it a highly secure way of sharing data, as there is no central point of vulnerability that can be exploited.

However, MPC is not without its challenges. It can be computationally intensive and may require a significant amount of communication between the parties. In addition, the complexity of the protocols involved can make it difficult to implement correctly and securely.

Despite these challenges, the trend of MPC for secure data sharing is likely to continue. As more organizations seek to share data in a secure manner, MPC offers a highly promising solution that allows them to collaborate without compromising the privacy of their data. As the field of cryptography continues to advance, it is likely that MPC will become even more efficient and practical, making it an increasingly attractive option for secure data sharing.


To sum it all up, 2023 is the year where organizations can no longer ignore data. Whether building new lines of business, making legacy systems interoperable, or exploring the exponentially growing world of AI, it’s time to place data – and data sharing architectures –at the center of your strategy.