Overview of SD Services

Sensitive Data (SD) services help you manage sensitive data throughout the research process: from collecting the data to publishing the results. With SD services, you can store, analyze, publish, and reuse sensitive data.

Like all CSC's services, SD services are available to researchers and students affiliated with Finnish academic organizations or research institutes. Access to the Federated EGA service requires a separate contract between CSC and the academic organization (or data cotroller). SD services are designed to support any type of research.

Simple web-user interfaces to secure your research

SD services provide easy on-demand support for managing sensitive data. The services are available from your web browser from any location, and access to them does not require specific technical expertise.

With SD Connect, you can easily encrypt, store, collect and share sensitive data. With SD Desktop, you can manage (start, use, and delete) a virtual computing workspace with just a few clicks.

Handling sensitive data requires strict procedures and limited access. Therefore, we have worked hard to simplify every step possible and build a personal secure workspace/platform that you can access from your computer regardless of your location. At the same time, we designed specific processes that will ensure the safety and protection of your research data. SD Connect and SD Desktop provide a completely isolated work environment, available just for you and your colleagues.

Promote collaboration across research organizations

With SD Connect and SD Desktop services, you always remain the data controller. As a data controller, you get the tools to manage the data access and collaboration in your projects. You can easily collect and share encrypted data with your collaborators within the same project with SD Connect. With SD Desktop, you can let them access and analyze the data together with you. There is no need to move data across country borders or distribute its copies during your collaborative projects. You can launch a workspace, use it for a few weeks or a few months, and delete it when it is no longer needed. Your research data remains in Finland, complying with national and European legislation.


How to access SD services (Finnish version).


Support for secondary use of health and social data

With SD Desktop, you can process the sensitive personal data that you have been granted permission to by Findata (Finnish Social and Health Data Permit Authority). SD Desktop is a certified secondary use environment that has been audited against Findata regulations. It is registered in Valvira's Toini database. Data import and export from SD Desktop is limited to comply with Findata's regulations and is directly managed by CSC.

Support for sensitive data reuse

Once your data analysis has been finalised, you can publish the sensitive data under controlled access using SD Submit (pilot phase). Genetic and phenotypic information can be published with Federated EGA. These services allow you to deposit data into a repository for sensitive data and link it to a permanent identifier. In addition, each dataset is connected to the policies regulating its reuse. Both services store the sensitive data securely at CSC. Access to the data is always managed directly by the data owner.


How to publish and reuse sensitive data with SD services (Finnish version).


Using SD Apply, researchers can apply for access to a specific dataset. If their research proposal complies with the established policies, the data owner can approve their access in SD Apply. This information will be immediately passed along the SD services, and the dataset will be available in a private virtual Desktop. There is no need for multiple copies of the same dataset, nor transfers across borders. When the access period expires, the access is immediately denied. 

The full release versions of SD Desktop and SD Connect are publicly available since March 30, 2022. SD Submit, Federated EGA and SD Apply are currently in a limited pilot phase.


If you have any questions regarding SD services, please contact our service desk at servicedesk@csc.fi (subject: Sensitive Data services).

The services are developed in close cooperation with international stakeholders and different parties in CSC. Operational costs of the services are paid by the Ministry of Education and Culture whereas the development is funded through a number of external grants including Academy of Finland, European commission, Nordic e-Infrastructure Collaboration (NeIC) and ELIXIR.