Privacy-Conscious Data Use

Individuals generate an immense amount of data through their daily use of mobile phones, wearable devices, and online services. These small bits of data are called microscale data. The availability of microscale data creates new opportunities for solving a variety of complex planning problems at the institutional level, but it also raises concerns about security and privacy for the individual whose data is collected. These concerns over privacy threaten the ability to realize the beneficial uses of microscale data.

John Nate Foster, Fred B. Schneider, Computer Science, David B. Shmoys, Computer Science/Operations Research and Information Engineering, and Deborah Estrin, Computer Science/Information Science, Cornell Tech, are leading a team of experts to develop and evaluate an architecture that allows individuals to monitor and manage sharing of their microscale data. With these controls in place, it will be possible to maximize the data’s individual and institutional utility.

The overall goal is to develop a software framework that supports the implementation of data-driven planning applications where individuals have fine-grained control over use of their data. Specifically, the project focuses on creating a campus testbed capable of acquiring microscale data streams from sources such as, wireless access points, card readers, room sensors, and point-of-sale systems. The researchers will develop a new data management platform to offer flexible controls for imposing use-based restrictions on queries and transformations of microscale data. Also in the plans are applications that use microscale data to solve practical planning problems related to transportation, space, and food in a campus setting. This platform has the potential to have a large impact on real applications and industry.

Cornell Researchers

Funding Received

$1 Million spanning 1 years

Sponsored by

Other Research Sponsored by National Science Foundation