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DARPA to Pursue 'revolutionary' Privacy Tools

By Government Computer News

March 13, 2015

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The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is launching the Brandeis project this week, a program aimed at solving the failure of efforts to create a system to enable individuals, enterprises, and government agencies to keep personal and proprietary information private.

DARPA wants to develop technologies with "revolutionary" impact that could help bridge privacy gaps that currently hold back collaboration and technology development. "Rather than having to balance these public goods, Brandeis aims to build a third option, enabling safe and predictable sharing of data while reliably preserving privacy," says DARPA program manager John Launchbury.

The Brandeis program will be structured as a four-and-a-half year effort, split into three 18-month phases, each of which will result in the demonstration of experimental systems that show privacy technologies at work.

The program will focus on four technical areas: privacy-preserving computation, human-data interaction, experimental systems, and metrics and analysis. Privacy-preserving computation will address the limits of current computational privacy methods so future system designers can use them as flexible building blocks in practical systems, while human-data interaction aims to develop tools and techniques to give data owners a way to decide how their data should be used. Experimental systems are designed to test the ideas of privacy-preserving computation and human-data interaction.

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