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PETRUS Research team

Activity reports

Overall Objectives

We are witnessing an exponential accumulation of personal data on central servers: data automatically gathered by administrations and companies but also data produced by individuals themselves (e.g., photos, agendas, data produced by smart appliances and quantified-self devices) and deliberately stored in the cloud for convenience. The net effect is, on the one hand, an unprecedented threat on data privacy due to abusive usage and attacks and, on the other hand, difficulties in providing powerful user-centric services (e.g. personal big data) which require crossing data stored today in isolated silos. The Personal Cloud paradigm holds the promise of a Privacy-by-Design storage and computing platform, where each individual can gather her complete digital environment in one place and share it with applications and users, while preserving her control. However, this paradigm leaves the privacy and security issues in user's hands, which leads to a paradox if we consider the weaknesses of individuals' autonomy in terms of computer security, ability and willingness to administer sharing policies. The challenge is however paramount in a society where emerging economic models are all based - directly or indirectly - on exploiting personal data.

While many research works tackle the organization of the user's workspace, the semantic unification of personal information, the personal data analytics problems, the objective of the PETRUS project-team is to tackle the privacy and security challenges from an architectural point of view. More precisely, our objective is to help providing a technical solution to the personal cloud paradox. More precisely, our goals are (i) to propose new architectures (encompassing both software and hardware aspects) for secure personal cloud data management and formally prove important bricks of the architecture, (ii) propose new data administration models reaching the main requirements of a personal cloud (decentralized access and usage control models, data sharing, data collection and retention models, etc.) and study the enforcement of the resulting privacy policies based on secure hardware and formally proven architectural components, (iii) propose new secure distributed database indexing models, privacy preserving query processing strategies and data anonymization techniques for the personal cloud.