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Trusted data format

(also TDF)

Trusted Data Format definition

The Trusted Data Format (TDF) is an open encryption standard that secures various types of content (like emails, PDFs, Office files, photos, and video files). TDF was first developed by the United States Intelligence Community to protect highly sensitive data shared by intelligence agencies — but is now available to anyone looking to give their email privacy and security a boost.

See also: data-in-transit encryption

How does Trusted Data Format work?

  • TDF acts like a protective wrapper around various types of content. Whether it's an email, a spreadsheet, or a picture, TDF encrypts and encapsulates the files to keep the content private and secure.
  • One of TDF's main features is fine-grained access control. It lets senders specify who can access their encrypted content (e.g., PDF) and even set expiration dates if this access should end at some point. This level of control means that only authorized recipients can access and read the content that’s protected by TDF.
  • When a recipient tries to open an email or access encrypted files, TDF communicates with the system’s servers to check whether the recipient should be able to do so. This verification process ensures that only individuals with the proper permissions can decrypt and view the content.

Trusted Data Format benefits

  • Ensures data integrity.
  • Protects data from unauthorized access.
  • Streamlines data handling.