WIRELESS SEMINAR SERIES

Date and time: Tuesday, Oct 10, 3:00-4:00 pm

Location: Carleton University, 4359 ME (Mackenzie Building). Campus map.

Title: THEORETICAL LIMITS OF IOT PRIVACY

Speaker: Hossein Pishro-Nik, Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

ABSTRACT: Smart cities, connected vehicles, smart homes, and connected
healthcare devices are examples of how the Internet of Things (IoT)
will revolutionize our lives in the decades ahead. However, the
potential loss of privacy is a significant threat to IoT penetration.
This leads to a great challenge: IoT devices will be generating an
astounding amount of data every second in the near future, and, even
if privacy-protecting mechanisms are employed, significant privacy
leaks can occur due to the sheer amount of the data generated and
powerful statistical inference techniques available to the potential
adversaries.

In this talk, we discuss the theoretical limits of IoT privacy. The
main idea is that a large class of IoT privacy problems can be modeled
mathematically as matching and de-noising time-series data. Using this
setting, we introduce the information theoretic notion of perfect
privacy. We consider a network of a large number of users, and assume
anonymization and/or obfuscation techniques are used to preserve the
privacy of users. We provide conditions under which perfect privacy
is achievable. Also, we provide converse results where an adversary is
able to successfully recover the data. Two models for users’ data are
considered: i.i.d. as well as Markov chain-based models.

Speaker bio: Hossein Pishro-Nik is an Associate Professor of electrical and
computer engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He
received a B.S. degree from Sharif University of Technology, and M.Sc.
and Ph.D. degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology, all in
electrical and computer engineering. His research interests include
information and coding theory, stochastic analysis of wireless
networks, and vehicular communications. He has received an NSF Faculty
Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, an Outstanding Junior Faculty
Award from UMass, and an Outstanding Graduate Research Award from the
Georgia Institute of Technology.

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