Malicious hacking, bit rot and data corruption; the challenges are immense when it comes to securing digital data. Then how can long-term access to our digital heritage be assured? Norwegian company Piql has found the answer by reinventing the use of a well-known storage medium.
There is a worldwide concern about the lack of technologies truly suited for long-term preservation of digital data. Magnetic storage medium are short-lived and best used for back-ups, whilst security and privacy issues make the Cloud unsuitable for the purpose. 5% of the world’s digital data requires secure, long-term preservation.
With a €20 million research project, supported by the EU and the Norwegian government, Piql has developed a unique solution for migration-free digital preservation. The technology lifts photosensitive film into the digital era.
«Our goal has been to keep valuable digital data securely preserved and accessible for 500 years. Ensuring that the data cannot be modified or deleted is imperative in this context.» comments Rune Bjerkestrand, Managing Director of Piql AS. A true preservation solution must also secure future access independent of availability to specific technologies or vendors.
Photosensitive film has been used as a preservation medium for decades, by archives (microfilm) and by the large film studios in e.g. Hollywood. However the usage has been limited to preservation of analogue images. Piql’s technology enables preservation of digital data on high-resolution film. The data is written on a preservation medium with proven long-term qualities, stored offline in physical form. Yet the data is fully searchable as in other digital storage technologies. Instructions on how to retrieve the data in the future is written in readable text on the film.
Piql supplements technologies used for short-lived information and back-ups, and is offered to data owners through an international network of service providers.
Piql AS provides solutions within digital preservation, and has converted photosensitive film into a digital storage medium. Piql is also behind Cinevator, the world’s leading digital film printer. The company was started in 2002 and is based in Drammen,Norway.