Keeping public sector data private and compliant with AI

Leaders from the United Nations, Google and industry illuminate how Google Workspace and Gemini help ensure data privacy and uphold data security.
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Public sector and commercial enterprises are ingesting ever-growing amounts of data into their enterprise operations. That’s placing greater demands on enterprise IT executives to ensure the requisite data privacy and security controls are in place and functioning effectively.

At the same time, executives are also being asked to integrate smarter tools into their operations to help their employees work more productively. 

At  Google Cloud Next ’24, Google Cloud experts Ganesh Chilakapati, director of product management and Luke Camery, group product manager, were joined by executives from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), UK energy retailer OVO and Air Liquide, a global industrial gases supplier, to discuss how Google Cloud’s generative AI capabilities are helping to achieve those objectives.

How Gemini safeguards your data 

Chilakapati and Camery demonstrated some of Gemini’s and Google Workspace’s signature capabilities, emphasizing features such as client-side encryption and comprehensive security frameworks. They also explained what happens to data inside Gemini.

“What is Gemini doing with all this data? How is it providing these customized and targeted responses that are so helpful? Is it learning and training on all of my enterprise data? No, it’s not. All of the privacy commitments we’ve made over the many decades to Google Workspace customers remain true,” said Chilakapati.

“Your data is your data and strictly stays within the workspace data boundary. Your privacy is protected, your content is not used for any other customers, and all of your existing data protections are automatically applied,” he added.

Your data, your trust boundary, managed by you

“Everything happens within your Google Workspace trust boundary. That means you have the ability to control whether or not Gemini stores not only the user prompts but also the generated responses. It’s completely up to you,” added Camery.

“One of the things we’re most excited to announce is the general availability of AI classification for Google Drive. This is a privacy-preserving customer-specific model that you have the option to train on your own specific corpus using your unique data class taxonomy,” said Camery.  “Leveraging AI classification and the guarantees that we’ve built into Gemini itself, you can have a virtuous cycle where you are leveraging AI while protecting your organization from emerging threats.”

Unparalleled Security: 5 key takeaways

Chilakapati and Camery stressed how the platform is designed to offer unparalleled security, built on the robust foundations of Google’s secure cloud infrastructure:

·  Enterprise terms of operation: Gemini operates strictly under processor enterprise terms, even when fetching the latest information from the internet, not on consumer controller terms.

·  Client-side encryption extension: Enterprises that have traditionally leveraged client-side encryption capabilities, ensuring that sensitive data remains inaccessible, can extend that one step further to protect against access attempts by any unauthorized entity, including other generative AI models.

·  Foundation on secure cloud infrastructure: Gemini is constructed on Google’s secure cloud platform, providing a solid foundation to enhance the overall security posture.

·  Zero-trust architecture: Zero-trust protocols are built in, not bolted on, not just on Google Cloud’s foundation but all the way up the stack to Gemini itself.

·  Sovereign controls integration: Gemini is also seamlessly integrated into an enterprise’s sovereign controls for Google Workspace, ensuring the integrity of data’s digital sovereignty journey, regardless of wherever you are in the world.

How Gemini AI is boosting productivity for the global workforce

Those features are especially important to customers like Soren Thomassen, director of IT solutions at UNFPA, which operates in 150 countries. Thomassen initially started using Gemini in May of 2023 to make chat functionality available to the fund’s entire user base. He began piloting Gemini Workspace last November.

“As an agency, safety and privacy is paramount. That’s why we were quick at rolling out the Gemini Chatbot because it’s covered by the same rules and the same controls as with Workspace.”

How Gemini AI is boosting productivity for the global workforce

Thomassen also pointed out how Gemini AI is helping UNFPA’s global workforce work more productively.

“Our users have been using it as a superpower writing assistant,” he said. Project managers spend a lot of time writing proposals.  “Instead of starting out with a blank screen…they can at least have a zero-draft that they can start working with. But the feedback that’s on my heart the most was when I hear those who have English as a second language say that Gemini helps them get their ideas across a little bit more clearly. Gemini (helps) everybody write English perfectly. And I think that’s important for a global organization.”

Jeremy Gibbons, Air Liquide’s digital and IT CTO, and Simon Goldsmith, OVO’s enterprise security and platforms lead, echoed Thomassen’s testament to Gemini’s utility. Each attested how the strategic deployment of Gemini within their organizations helped bolster productivity and ensure security. A recurrent theme throughout their conversation was the transformative potential of AI in reimagining work securely.

“I like to think of Workspace as kind of a walled garden of Eden,” said Goldsmith. “We want to give our people a really amazing experience in that garden… and allow them to experiment. But at the same time, within that safe environment, Workspace gives us the ability to, at an enterprise level, do the sensitive detective and corrective control work.”

Learn more about how Google Public Sector can help your organization “Kickstart your generative AI journey.”

This article was produced by Scoop News Group and sponsored by Google Public Sector. Google Public Sector is an underwriter of AI Week.

<span style="font-weight: 400">Fresh off the heels of Google NEXT, we're excited to share a deep dive into the event's most impactful AI announcements for the public sector, created in collaboration with AIWeek presented by AIScoop!</span>

This story was featured in AIScoop Special Report: 2024 AIWeek & Google NEXT

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