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.

C4DT mentioned in “Le Temps” as an initiative against cybercrime

Initiatives against cybercrime, online harassment or spying are increasing at an impressive rate. Switzerland wants to position itself as a world center of excellence. French-language news paper 'Le Temps' asked Olivier Crochat, executive director of the Center for Digital Trust, about the center's focus. Read the article in French on…
News type : Press reviews

C4DT mentioned in RTS French radio show Alter Eco

C4DT is mentioned in RTS French radio show 'Alter Eco', broadcasted on Jan 6th in French and entitled "Lausanne, 'capital mondial de la confiance'". Please click below to access the broadcast.
News type : Press reviews

Switzerland: launch of a label to protect SMEs from cyber risks

Protecting your SME from cyberattacks is often complicated: costs of IT security audits, absent or overly complex standards, lack of internal skills have discouraged more than one company from confronting these risks. Born from a participative approach, the Label cyber-safe.ch helps SMEs and other small organizations to manage their cyber…
News type : News

EPFL aims to build trust in fintechs

A new research program will combine the specialist knowledge of the Swiss Finance Institute @ EPFL with insights from the School’s data scientists and digital trust experts. The Swiss online bank Swissquote, sponsor of the Chair in Quantitative Finance and founding member of EPFL’s Center for Digital Trust (C4DT), is…
News type : News

Prof. Guerraoui’s Distributed Computing Lab (DCL) presents low-cost alternative to Bitcoin

The cryptocurrency Bitcoin is limited by its astronomical electricity consumption and outsized carbon footprint. A nearly zero-energy alternative sounds too good to be true, but as C4DT-affiliated Professor Rachid Guerraoui explains, it all comes down to our understanding of what makes transactions secure. DCL’s new system, dubbed Byzantine Reliable Broadcast,…
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Launch of the CyberPeace Institute in Geneva

Thursday 26 September 2019 saw the launch of the CyberPeace Institute, an independent NGO that will address the growing impact of major cyberattacks, assist vulnerable communities, promote transparency, and advance global discussions on acceptable behavior in cyberspace. EPFL President Martin Vetterli will be sitting on the Executive Board, and the…
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Prof. Ebrahimi and Quantum Integrity awarded an Innosuisse grant

Multimedia Signal Processing Group, led by C4DT-affiliated Prof. Touradj Ebrahimi, has been working with Quantum Integrity, a startup based at EPFL Innovation Park, on a deepfake detection solution for the past two years. The research team has already completed two pilot tests and recently obtained a grant from Innosuisse, Switzerland’s…
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C4DT-affiliated DEDIS lab helps launch a decentralized service for generating random numbers

On the 17th of June a new consortium consisting of EPFL, Cloudfare, Kudelski Security, Protocol Labs, and the University of Chile announced the creation of The League of Entropy, collaborative project between its founding members to produce a publicly available, verifiable, distributed randomness beacon: a service that provides unpredictable, truly…
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C4DT’s academic director on e-ID in “Le Temps” daily newspaper

On the 4th of June, the Council of States debated the Swiss law on e-ID (Federal Act on Electronic Identification Services, LSIE). C4DT’s academic director Prof. Jean-Pierre Hubaux wrote an article on the topic for the Swiss French-language daily newspaper 'Le Temps', in which he favors state control of all…
News type : Press reviews

Jean-Pierre Hubaux takes on co-leadership of GA4GH Data Security Work Stream

C4DT-affiliated Jean-Pierre Hubaux, a Full Professor at École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and lead of the Data Protection in Personalized Health (DPPH) initiative in Switzerland, and David Bernick, Chief Information Security Officer at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, take on leadership of the Global Alliance for Genomics…
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Data leak in Switzerland: Interview with Jean-Pierre Hubaux – Radio – Play RTS

In this interview Jean-Pierre Hubaux, professor at EPFL, academic director of the Center for Digital Trust, is asked about the recent data leak named "Collection # 1-5": a collection of 2.2 billion unique usernames and associated passwords which is freely distributed on hacker forums and torrents. According to a RTS…
News type : Press reviews

Carmela Troncoso wins Google Security and Privacy Research Award

Professor Carmela Troncoso, head of the C4DT-affiliated Security and Privacy Engineering Laboratory (SPRING), was honored by Google for her work on digital privacy and security machine learning.
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The daily newspaper “Le Temps” interviews the Center for Digital Trust

"Many SMEs are discovering digitalization but are not armed to deal with the threats that accompany this process." The Swiss French-language daily newspaper “Le Temps” interviewed C4DT's executive director, Dr. Olivier Crochat, and academic director, Prof. Jean-Pierre Hubaux, on the mission and ambitions of this new center, based at EPFL,…
News type : Press reviews

Workshop on Security and Privacy of Wearable Devices

A growing number of wearable devices are becoming available. By their ability to measure physical activity and physiological characteristics such as heart rate, blood pressure, sleep patterns, etc., they constitute a cornerstone for the quantified self and personalized health. Yet, unavoidably, they bring a number of challenges in terms of…
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C4DT Holds First General Assembly

The founding General Assembly of C4DT was held on Friday, 2 November, in presence of the President of EPFL, Martin Vetterli, and of 50 guests. The 12 partners of the Center said they are keen to apply research to their business needs and regulatory requirements, at a time when digitalization…
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