Senate Matching has unique decentralized architecture  that features three core components:

  • Contributor Node
  • Matcher Node Network
  • Aggregator Node

The combination of these three elements increases security and significantly reduces the risk of re-identification.

Contributor Node

The Contributor Node is the technical component of the Senate Matching technology that generates tokens, hashes PII, and distributes hashed slices to Matcher Nodes.

The Contributor Node is installed within the Data Custodian’s own IT environment so that PII never leaves the Data Custodian's control. The Contributor Node is like a personal data firewall that makes sure PII never leaves your organization. This is a key security feature of Senate Matching and protects your customer data by never allowing PII in raw form to be exchanged.

  • Data files with PII are uploaded to the Contributor Node and prepared for data matching on Senate. However, no PII data is stored within the Contributor Node. 
  • The node can be run on-premise or in the cloud, depending on your organization’s IT set up.
  • The Contributor Node generates tokens to replace the PII fields. It then salts and hashes the tokens. The hashes are then sliced up and each slice is distributed to a Matcher Node. This is another key feature of Senate Matching, which significantly reduces the risk of re-identification. 

Matcher Node and Matcher Node Network

The Matcher Node is the technical component in the Data Republic Matching network that stores hashed splices of PII during the tokenization process. This means that no one Matcher Node can contain an entire hashed field value for PII. 

When a request for matching is made, the Matcher Node compares hash splits for each token and returns token pairs to an Aggregator Node. 

There are multiple Matcher Nodes which hold different slices of hashed PII. These nodes make up the Matcher Node Network. The decentralized nature of the Matcher Node Network ensures PII never leaves a contributor’s environment. Even if one of the matcher nodes was compromised, PII is never stored. Only the fragment of the hash could be extracted, significantly reducing the risk of customer PII being exposed.

Aggregator Node

The Aggregator Node executes the match request and returns the list of anonymised token pairs for analysis in Senate.

The Aggregator Node retains matched tokens common to all Matcher Nodes and provide this to the requestor in the form of a token match table in Senate, allowing users to perform their own table join for matches. 

Architecture diagram

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