What are Sensitive Data Services?

We designed our services for sensitive data with a vision in mind:

Simple web-user interfaces to secure your research

Sensitive Data services help you manage sensitive data during your research. They provide easy on-demand support for storing, analysing, publishing, and reusing sensitive data. The services are available from your web browser, their access does not require specific technical expertise.  CSC Sensitive Data services are designed to support any type of research.

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 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.

Video introducing CSC's Sensitive Data Services (Finnish version).

Promote collaboration across research organizations

With SD Connect, you can easily encrypt, store, collect and share sensitive data. With SD Connect and SD Desktop, you will always remain the data controller; you have all the tools available for collaboration and managing access to your sensitive data. With SD Connect, you can easily collect and share encrypted data with your collaborators in the same project, and with SD Desktop, you can let them access and analyse the data together with you. In this way, it is not necessary to move data across country borders or distribute multiple copies during your collaborative projects. You can launch the workspace, use it for a few weeks or a few months, and delete it when it is no longer needed. Your research data remain in Finland, complying with national and European legislation.

Support for secondary use of health and social data

Sensitive personal data permitted by Finnish Social and Health Data Permit Authority Findata can be processed with SD Desktop. It has been audited against Findata regulation, and it is registered as a secondary use environment in Valvira’s Toini database. It is available to researchers and students affiliated with Finnish academic organizations or research institutes like all CSC services. Some features of SD Desktop are more restricted when processing registry data in compliance with the regulations.

Support for sensitive data reuse

The services help you manage sensitive data throughout the research process: from data collection to publishing the results. Once your analysis has been finalised and you start working on the manuscript, you can publish your data under controlled access using SD Submit for any sensitive data or Federated EGA for genetic and phenotypic information. With both services, sensitive data are always securely stored in CSC.

These services will give you tools to perform data deposition to a repository for sensitive data and link them to a permanent identifier. In addition, each dataset will always be connected to the policies regulating its reuse. Data access is always managed directly by the data owner.

Video presenting how to publish and reuse sensitive data with Sensitive Data services (Finnish version).

Researchers can apply for access to a specific dataset using SD Apply. If their research proposal complies with the established policies, the data owner approves their access using the SD Apply. This information will be immediately passed along CSC Sensitive Data Services, and the dataset will be available in a private virtual Desktop. 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 from March 30 2022. SD Apply and SD Submit are currently in a limited pilot phase and Federated EGA will be available in Q3 2022.


Read more about SD Connect »

Read more about SD Desktop »

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.