Ross and Jain awarded NSF SaTC grant

Arun Ross and Anil Jain have been awarded a three-year National Science Foundation (NSF) grant under the Secure & Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) program. Their proposal entitled "Imparting Privacy to Biometric Data in Cyberspace" will investigate the issue of privacy as it pertains to the biometric information of an individual.

Recent work has established the possibility of deriving auxiliary information from biometric data. For example, it has been shown that face images can be used to deduce the health, gender, age and ethnicity of a subject; further, face images have been used to link a pseudonymous profile in the Web with a true profile, thereby compromising the privacy of an individual. The objective of this work is to design and implement techniques for imparting security and privacy to biometric data present in the Internet. The proposed techniques will have the ability to impart differential degrees of privacy to biometric data. In this regard, the following tasks will be accomplished: (a) a method to modify biometric data such that the modified data can be used for re-identifying an individual but cannot be used to derive auxiliary information about the subject, such as gender and ethnicity; (b) a method to generate multiple templates from the same biometric data in such a way that these templates cannot be linked using a biometric matcher; and (c) a method to store the biometric data of a subject across nodes such that individual nodes cannot determine the identity of the subject, but collaboration across nodes is essential for divulging the identity of the subject. The proposed methods will be evaluated on publicly available face, fingerprint and iris datasets in order to determine their efficacy in the context of cyberspace applications. Finally, methods to assess the degree of privacy of a biometric image will be developed in order to quantify the amount of private information that can be derived from it.

(Date Posted: 2016-09-27)