Location and service accuracy trade-offs are clearly present in a local search application. Our ongoing research is attempting to build a platform where local search applications will have a clear understanding of the similarity in search results across geographic areas, and exploit it to enforce the location privacy requirements of the user. We are also pushing for a re-assessment of the algorithmic developments possible in this area, especially since current generation mobile devices can now easily participate in the computational requirements of a privacy-preserving solution.
Privacy-preserving record linkage in the medical domain is the task of identifying a patient's record in multiple health databases without using any identifying information about the patient (owing to HIPAA regulations). We are collaborating with medical researchers in the Denver metropolitan area to help them design a secure, internet-based privacy-preserving record linkage service that could be used by any collection of organizations seeking to perform clinical research with data where patient overlap is a significant problem.
Non-tracking vehicular telematics applications that collect driving habits data (time of driving, speed, mileage, etc.) imply an expectation of privacy that the customer's destinations are not tracked. To the contrary, our research has confirmed that driving habits data is in fact sufficient to infer the destinations of certain driving trips. The purpose of this project is to understand the privacy implications of driving habits data collection, and develop formal techniques to facilitate the privacy-preserving collection of such data.
Our group is conducting projects to help the common man understand the security/privacy status of one's personal computing devices. We expect this research to generate a set of tools that will make a lay user aware of the security and privacy related risks directly resulting from the current configuration of a system's hardware and software. Having this rudimentary piece of information is the first step in making an informed decision in the security/privacy and utility trade-off.