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Building trust in the Internet of Things

Professor of Security Engineering, Professor Muttukrishnan Rajarajan, is the principal investigator on a project looking into "Understanding & Enabling A Trusted Internet of Things (IoT) Ecosystem".
by John Stevenson (Senior Communications Officer)

City Professor of Security Engineering, Professor Muttukrishnan Rajarajan is the principal investigator (PI) on the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) project titled "Understanding & Enabling A Trusted Internet of Things (IoT) Ecosystem".

Rajarajan MuttukrishnanThe research was recently given a ‘number one ranking’ by the EPSRC. Professor Rajarajan’s co-investigators are University of Aberdeen academics Dr David Corsar, Dr Caitlin D Cotrill, Professor Peter Edwards and Dr Karen Salt. It is valued at £286,000 and will run from July 2016 to June 2019.

The Internet of Things refers to a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer information over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.

Vast surfeit of data

The rapid growth of the Internet of Things Ecosystem over the years has led to a predicted 50bn devices by 2020 and a vast surfeit of data which is collected passively through machine to machine transactions surpassing that which is actively generated by individuals.

This naturally leads to various questions around the trust people and users place in the IoT Ecosystem.

Professor Muttikrishnan and his researchers have set out to ask the following research questions:

  1. What does it take to deliver IoT solutions that are trusted by users and communities?
  2. What are appropriate governance and policy arrangements to frame future IoT deployments?
  3. What are the factors influencing user’s perceptions of privacy and risk and how are these appropriately represented for human and machine consumption?
  4. How do we construct flexible personal data controls that consider these factors?
  5. How do we realise tools that enable users to review and evaluate data (for example, to aid in assessing the veracity of the data)?

In order to respond to these questions the team will be using a living laboratory in Aberdeen’s Tillydrone district and will engage with real users of IoT systems to validate the proposed privacy, risk and governance tools.

Data Privacy

Data Privacy, also called information privacy, is the aspect of information technology (IT) that deals with the ability an organization or individual has to determine what data in a computer system can be shared with third parties.

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