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Privacy Protecting Analytics for the Internet of Things


OBJECTIVE: Develop and commercialize analytic capabilities and systems to characterize information from large collections of static and mobile sensors while protecting the privacy of individuals.

DESCRIPTION: With the rapid proliferation of sensors, embedded systems, and big data analytics come a host of opportunities for improving safety and security services for the public, critical infrastructure and first responders. As embeddable sensors and sensor platforms become smaller, consume less power and are dynamically re-configurable, a variety of applications associated with awareness, prevention, mitigation and response can be developed to improve the homeland security mission and operations related to catastrophic events. For example, an embedded accelerometer can determine impact to an object, chemical sensors detect the presence of toxic gasses, and physiological sensors can communicate health status. Analysis of different sensor modalities and locations can improve the efficiency and accuracy of responsive actions. However, there are significant privacy concerns associated with such individual sensors and/or sensor readings involving locations and individuals. This effort explores systems that will make it possible to accumulate process and characterize such data in ways that are not attributable to individuals but result in analytic results that are actionable to improve public safety and security.

PHASE I: Phase I will examine the feasibility of a proposed privacy protecting system for leveraging the internet of things for public security and safety. During this phase, sensors, embedded systems and scalable architecture designs will be defined that clearly protect the privacy of individuals while producing sensor network information that is clearly actionable for public safety and security applications. Primarily, the performers will conduct an analysis of the proposed system architecture and components that are relevant to the homeland security enterprise. Although not absolutely required, for mature concepts, performers may wish to demonstrate technical feasibility of the privacy protection methods that are inherent in the proposed design. Finally, depending on system maturity, performer may prototype and/or model a proposed system and components that demonstrate their proof of concept. Required Phase I deliverables will include a technical report that outlines the proposed concept and include architecture, embedded system and sensor design requirements and choices. Included in the report will be an analysis of the proposed system and results from relevant modeling activities and if available, any experimental prototyping that reflects performance for a mutually determined operational environment that is relevant to homeland security applications.

PHASE II: In Phase II, feasible designs will be implemented and demonstrate a priority homeland security capability in an operationally relevant environment. (See the 2014 Quadrennial Homeland Security Review 2014). Performers will demonstrate the efficacy of their design through a series of increasingly complex operations where various aspects of privacy, security, and information accuracy are communicated to the government. Progress and performance analysis of the sensors, embedded systems and architecture will be documented in the monthly technical reports. A robust prototype of the system will be developed and demonstrated using design choices that are suitable for commercialization, manufacturing and maintenance with targeted price points that are realistic relative to market demand. Demonstrations of the system will clearly communicate the privacy protection inherent in the design, scalability for large applications (greater than millions of sensors) and the value proposition created for users and responders to the overall system. Deliverables will include a demonstration for privacy officials as well as the user community, a final technical report that documents the Phase II system design, prototype sensors, embedded systems and the architecture.

PHASE III: COMMERCIAL OR GOVERNMENT APPLICATIONS: Capabilities that result from this effort will lead to increased privacy for architecture designs involving high scale sensor networks. Commercial applications are significant and include: improved traffic flow, medical treatment, and customer service. Government applications include the prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction related terrorism, situation awareness for first responders, and mass evacuation management.

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