Andrew Wood

Andrew Wood

Director Consulting Services

In the midst of the data gold rush, where information holds the key to solving many challenges, sharing data has become increasingly vital. Nowhere is this more critical than in the government and public sectors.

Trustless data exchange is a concept driven by modern cybersecurity technologies, and it has the potential to fundamentally transform how the UK government manages and utilises its data resources. In this blog, we will highlight the potential impact of cybersecurity innovation on trustless data exchange, with a compelling case study featuring CGI's groundbreaking project, the Universal Virtual Flight Data Recorder.


The Evolution of Trustless Data Exchange

Trustless data exchange is often compared to a playground football match, where every player keeps a record of the game's score, and the final score is determined by the collective agreement of all players. No single player can manipulate the score, ensuring the game's integrity.

Similarly, in trustless data exchange, data is securely recorded in a decentralised manner. As such, it doesn't rely on a single authority to validate the data; instead, the distributed nature of the technology safeguards data integrity and trustworthiness, making it resistant to tampering or manipulation.


CGI's UVFDR Project: A Game-Changer for Aviation Safety

In a real-world application of this approach, in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the UK Space Agency, CGI has leveraged blockchain technology to replicate the function of a traditional crash-protected flight data recorder (Black Box) in a virtual, cloud-based environment.

The UVFDR enables the assured, authenticated, and provenance-controlled storage of data transmitted by an aircraft while in flight. It allows almost immediate access to that data in case of an emergency, incident, or accident. This technology is designed to meet Global Aeronautic Distress and Safety System (GADSS) aircraft tracking and flight data recovery requirements.


Blockchain at the Heart of UVF

At the core of the UVFDR system is CGI's Trusted Fabric, a proprietary blockchain solution for the secure storage of highly sensitive data. The blockchain ensures the integrity and security of flight data, making it tamper-resistant and highly reliable. Data is hosted on the cloud, making the system scalable and accessible from anywhere in the world.


Benefits for UK Central Government

The adoption of this type of blockchain enables trustless data sharing and exchange within the UK central government, offering exciting opportunities. For instance, advanced data security measures help ensure the protection of sensitive government data, reducing the risk of unauthorised access and cyber threats, in turn bolstering national security and safeguarding citizen’s private information. Cross-agency collaboration means Government agencies can access and exchange vital information promptly, especially during emergencies. This collaboration among government departments and agencies leads to more integrated and holistic solutions for complex challenges, such as disaster response and public safety. In addition, seamless data accessibility and sharing empowers government departments to make data-driven decisions, enhance public services, and support evidence-based policymaking.

One of the most impactful applications of trustless data exchange in the UK government is the collaborative sharing of insights on vulnerable people. This approach involves seamlessly combining data from social care, healthcare, policing, courts, and welfare systems to create a comprehensive view of individuals at risk of criminalisation or victimisation.

Rather than eavesdropping, this data sharing initiative aims to enable early preventative interventions by government services. Here's how it works:

Holistic Insights gleaned from trustless data exchange redefine government collaboration, facilitating secure sharing among agencies to construct comprehensive profiles of vulnerable individuals. Within a shared, anonymised database, Interagency Collaboration thrives, uniting social workers, healthcare providers, law enforcement, and welfare services to deliver tailored support based on unique circumstances. Early Intervention becomes possible as vulnerable individuals are identified promptly, initiating proactive measures to prevent potential criminalisation or victimisation, offering access to counselling, social programs, or vocational training. Robust encryption and access controls ensure Privacy Protection, permitting authorised access for effective assistance. This holistic approach not only benefits individuals but also alleviates strain on the criminal justice system, fortifies public safety, fosters a more empathetic and efficient governance framework, leading to Improved Outcomes for societal well-being.



CGI's UVFDR project showcases how blockchain technology enables trustless data exchange, ensuring the security and integrity of critical data. As we continue our journey towards trustless data exchange, the government, with CGI's expertise and dedication, can orchestrate a harmonious exchange of data that benefits both the government and its citizens.

In the upcoming parts of this series, we will explore more real-world examples of trustless data exchange in action and how it's transforming the way the UK government operates. Stay tuned for more insights, success stories, and the ongoing evolution of trustless data exchange in the heart of the UK's public sector.

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About this author

Andrew Wood

Andrew Wood

Director Consulting Services

Andrew is a Director of Consulting and an expert in the Criminal Justice System who works with the sector, driving innovation and creating opportunities to bring significant and lasting change through digital initiatives. His passion is to achieve measurable business and societal benefits through the ...