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Analyze and compute with Sensitive Data Desktop


Sensitive Data (SD) Desktop allows you to analyze sensitive research data from your web browser securely. With this user interface, you can easily manage (start, use, delete) a virtual computer (here called desktop, technically defined as virtual machine). In addition, SD Desktop provides a secure workspace for collaborative research projects.


You can browse the main topics of this section using the navigation bar on the right side of this page or the search function.

Key features

  • Accessible from any operating system (Mac, Linux or Windows) via a web browser (e.g., Google Chrome, Firefox) from the public internet (without the need to install a client or use a VPN).

  • Only members of the same CSC project can access the virtual desktop. One CSC project can create up to three desktops.

  • Four pre-built computing options (Linux OS) are available (for simple statistical analysis and machine learning). Supports analysis of any data type: text files, images, audio files, video, and genetic data. Further customization is possible by writing to CSC Service Desk (subject: Sensitive data);

  • The secure analysis environment is isolated from the internet: the only way to import and export data is via the SD Connect service.


  • The project manager's or group leader's responsibility is to frequently review the list of members belonging to a project in MyCSC and verify who can access SD Desktop or SD Connect. Remove the project members who do not need access to the data when their contribution is no longer needed.

  • Only open-source software is available. We do not provide virtual desktops with GPUs, Windows, or Linux Ubuntu operating systems.


The standard SD Desktop service is unsuitable for data processing under the Secondary Use of Health and Social Data Act. Please check this manual: SD Desktop for secondary use to learn about the precise requirements and access datasets approved by the Findata authority.

Last update: October 27, 2023