Karlsruhe Institute of Technology professor Martina Zitterbart is developing a way to hide data transmitted on the many smart devices that will run on the Internet of Things.
The main problem involves finding a way to share necessary information with organizations that collect data, providing the requisite information to interact with consumers while maintaining security and privacy. Zitterbart has developed a methodology in which usage data is anonymized by combining total usage with that of several nearby users, adding a random number, and then dividing that total by the number of users.
The method ensures that no single number being reported is the same as their actual usage, and because of the random number, their actual number cannot be easily determined. The method gives organizations "exactly the information they need but not more," Zitterbart says.
The researchers are still working on solutions that limit the amount of data sharing that takes place. "We are playing around with not having such central solutions but having self-organized ways," Zitterbart says.
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