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SMIS Research team

Activity reports

Overall Objectives

The research work within the project-team is devoted to the design and analysis of core database techniques dedicated to the definition of secured and mobile information systems.

Ubiquitous computing and ambient intelligence entail embedding data in increasingly light and specialized devices (chips, sensors and electronic appliances for smart buildings, telephony, transportation, health, etc.). These devices exhibit severe hardware constraints to match size, security, power consumption and also production costs requirements. At the same time, they could highly benefit from embedded database functionalities to store data, analyze it, query it and protect it. This raises a first question “Q1: How to make powerful data management techniques compatible with highly constrained hardware platforms?”. To tackle this question, SMIS contributes to the design and validation of new storage and indexing models, query execution and optimization techniques, and transaction protocols. The relevance of this research goes beyond embedded databases and may have potential applications for database servers running on advanced hardware.

By making information more accessible and by multiplying –often transparently– the means of acquiring it, ubiquitous computing involves new threats for data privacy. The second question addressed by the project-team is then “Q2: How to make smart objects less intrusive?”. New access and usage control models have to be devised to help individuals keep a better control on the acquisition and sharing conditions of their data. This means integrating privacy principles like user’s consent, limited collection and limited retention in the access and usage control policy definition. This also means designing appropriate mechanisms to enforce this control and provide accountability with strong security guarantees.

In parallel, thanks to a high degree of decentralization and to the emergence of low cost tamper-resistant hardware, ubiquitous computing contains the seeds for new ways of managing personal/sensitive data. The third question driving the research of the project-team is therefore “Q3: How to build privacy-by-design architectures based on trusted smart objects?”. The objective is to capitalize on embedded data management techniques, privacy-preserving mechanisms, trusted devices and cryptographic protocols to define an integrated framework dedicated to the secure management of personal/sensitive data. The expectation is showing that credible alternatives to a systematic centralization of personal/sensitive data on servers can be devised and validating the approach through real case experiments.