Privacy Protection & Cryptography

As digitalization of society keeps progressing, notably with cloud computing and the Internet of Things, the need to protect data increases. This pillar develops technologies that open doors to new use cases and business opportunities in which sensitive data, such as health, biometric or other highly-personal data, can be used with strong privacy guarantees. It also seeks to strengthen existing guarantees.

A key goal is to develop and adapt advanced cryptographic techniques for privacy-preserving data sharing and data analytics. This includes techniques that maintain the absolute secrecy of private data when it is shared or analysed, notably homomorphic encryption, zero-knowledge proofs, privacy-preserving authentication, and secure multiparty computation approaches such as garbled circuits or secret sharing. It also includes techniques to control and manage lost privacy and protect against inference (differential privacy).

Furthermore, underlying much of existing data protection approaches is a form of cryptography (public key) that is at risk because of the progress of quantum computers. The pillar will include the development of post-quantum cryptography, capable of responding to these near-future threat models for data sharing and data analytics.

Techniques to help quantify lost privacy (information leakage) will complement the cryptographic aspect of the pillar. Key will be the ability to evaluate complex scenarios that include partially-trusted or untrusted cloud providers. It will require an understanding of information leakage not only in end results, but also at the site of intermediate computations. Such techniques are essential for risk assessments, notably for compliance with data protection regulations in the EU and elsewhere.

NotifyMe, a new app to relaunch social events

NotifyMe is a new app that alerts people who attended an event where there was a risk of COVID-19 infection. The app, using technology developed in part at EPFL, in no way compromises users’ personal data. NotifyMe works well in conjunction with SwissCovid and is currently being pilot-tested at EPFL.
News type : News

Prof. Jean-Pierre Hubaux’s opinion piece in ‘LeTemps” on Trusting SwissCovid App

French-language news paper 'Le Temps' published an opinion piece by C4DT's Academic Director and Head of the LDS lab at EPFL, Jean-Pierre Hubaux, on trusting the SwissCovid app. Prof. Hubaux raises the point that the excessive focus on privacy protection has cast doubt on a tool which makes it possible…
News type : Press reviews

Trust Valley sets off at EPFL

An alliance for excellence supported by multiple public, private and academic actors, the "TRUST VALLEY" was launched on Thursday, October 8, 2020. Cantons, Confederation, academic institutions and captains of industry such as ELCA, Kudelski and SICPA, come together to co-construct this pool of expertise and encourage the emergence of innovative…
News type : News

Geneva solutions reports on C4DT joint event on “Manipulating elections in cyberspace: are democracies in danger”

A little less than one month before the election, one wonders. How are fake news and disinformation affecting relations within a democracy, but moreover what threat do they pose to democracy itself? It is precisely this topic that the Center for Digital Trust (C4DT) housed at EPFL brought to the…
News type : Press reviews

EPFL’s Predikon: predicting voting results with machine learning

On September 27 Switzerland votes for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, including on a contentious initiative to end the free movement of workers with the European Union. Predikon will be predicting the final outcome within minutes of the release of the first partial municipal results from the…
News type : News

Prof. Carmela Troncoso interviewed by “Le Temps” on her contribution to the SwissCovid app

French-language news paper 'Le Temps' interviewed C4DT-affiliated Carmela Troncoso, professor of the SPRING lab at EPFL, on her contribution to the SwissCovid app and on her passion for privacy protection in the digital world. Read the article in French on 'www.letemps.ch' by clicking the following link.
News type : Press reviews

Carmela Troncoso: named one of 2020s global top young tech leaders

Carmela Troncoso, head of the Security and Privacy Engineering Lab (SPRING) in EPFL’s School of Computer and Communication Sciences (IC), helped lead the push to build the Decentralized Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing system (DP-3T), now used in COVID-19 tracing apps around the world. She’s just joined the ranks of Fortune Magazine’s…
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Vaud and Geneva join forces to create the Trust Valley

Building on the expertise of 300 companies and 500 experts, the Vaud and Geneva Cantons of Switzerland are launching the Trust Valley, a public private cooperation for safe digital transformation, cybersecurity and innovation. Among the founding partners are C4DT members ELCA, Kudelski Group and SICPA. For more information please click…
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Roche joins the C4DT

We are proud to announce that Roche has just joined the C4DT as partner. Its arrival adds the pharmaceutical industry to the already broad field of economic sectors represented within the C4DT. We are convinced that this partnership will add new perspectives and insights to digital trust and lead to…
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SwissCovid: possible tracing this summer?

La Liberté wonders about the possibility of tracing abroad this summer. Professor at EPFL Carmela Troncoso, answered these questions during C4DT's webinar "SwissCovid - a proximity-tracing app against COVID-19: building trust in a technology solution" held on May 27. Click below to read the article
News type : Press reviews

SwissCovid: EPFL is working on the question of public acceptance of the SwissCovid application

Following the webinar SwissCovid (DP^3T project) - a proximity-tracing app against COVID-19: building trust in a technology solution organized today by C4DT, the explanations of journalist Marielle Savoy on the question of the population's support for the Swisscovid application. Click below to listen to the full report
News type : Press reviews

SwissCovid: Edouard Bugnion, Vice President for Information Systems at EPFL, speaks on RTS

According to Edouard Bugnion, Vice-President for Information Systems at EPFL, guaranteeing data protection is at the heart of the project: "This technology must not be abused for other purposes. The most important point of our approach is that the information collected always remains on the phone and is never shared,…
News type : Press reviews

Carmela Troncoso “The virus-tracking app is designed to protect society”

Professor at EPFL, Carmela Troncoso, 37, is in charge of the IT component of the tracing system that Switzerland is preparing. The launch, expected on 11 May, has been delayed by debates at the legislative level. In the meantime, an exclusive meeting with a researcher concerned about health and privacy.…
News type : Press reviews

Covid-19: SICPA works towards an immunological passport for the sick

Three companies, including Sicpa,  have imagined a mobile application for the patients to certify that a person has been infected. Responding to a call for projects from the French Ministry of Defence, a consortium of three companies (Sicpa, OpenHealth and Guardtime) has just proposed a first turnkey solution. For more information…
News type : Press reviews

MedCo: Swiss software will analyse the hospital data, a valuable aid against the virus

Developed in the Laboratory for Data Security (LDS) headed by Professor Jean-Pierre Hubaux at EPFL, in collaboration with the Centre hospitalier universitaire vaudois (CHUV), the MedCo software allows hospitals to make calculations on the data they collectively have at their disposal without transferring or decrypting it. Please click below for…
News type : Press reviews

MedCo: EPFL software to enable secure data-sharing for hospitals

The MedCo system - developed in the Laboratory  for Data Security (LDS) of Jean-Pierre Hubaux, academic director of C4DT, in collaboration with the Lausanne University Hospital CHUV - aims to facilitate medical research on pathologies, such as cancer and infectious diseases, by enabling secure computations on decentralized data. The unique software…
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Coronavirus: an app that warns of a risky contact, several C4DT labs involved.

A consortium of European researchers, including several from EPFL and C4DT, has developed the Pan-European Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing (PEPP-PT) application, which should enable everyone to be informed if they have been in contact with a coronavirus carrier while guaranteeing anonymity. The aim is to develop a totally anonymous monitoring and…
News type : Press reviews

Coronavirus and data, what surveillance?

Debate between Jean-Pierre Hubaux, professor at EPFL, academic director of C4DT and head of the data security laboratory, Antoine Flahault, epidemiologist, director of the Institute of Global Health of the University of Geneva and Aude Marcovitch, RTS journalist. Jean-Pierre Hubaux, talks about data monitoring in the fight against Covid-19, in…
News type : Press reviews

C4DT interviewed by “24Heures” on the Crypto AG scandal

In the wake of the recent Crypto Ag scandal, French-language news paper '24Heures' interviewed Jean-Pierre Hubaux, professor at EPFL, academic director of the Center for Digital Trust, on his insights on data protection and on the scandal's impact on our trust in the digital world. Read the article in French…
News type : Press reviews

CYD and EPFL launch the CYD Fellowships

Cyber-threats have been accelerating due to the exponential growth of network connectivity. These new capabilities provide myriad opportunities for security hackers to wreak significant damage for commercial, political, or other gains. To promote research and education in cyber-defence, EPFL, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, and the Cyber-Defence…
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