Collection, Storage, and Utilization of Private Sensor Data via Searchable Encryption

As part of our work under the DARPA Brandeis program, Stealth developed a secure database (SDB) to store sensitive sensor data and enable authorized analyses of this data.  A key problem motivating our solution is the fact that performing analysis directly on each sensor is inadequate for two reasons:

  1. Devices are often resource constrained (in terms of power, computation, and memory).
  2. Devices are typically one of many in a network of sensors, and the desired analysis requires aggregation of data across all sensors.

For this reason, there is a desire to aggregate the data collected across many devices in a single database, which can then support the requisite search and analysis functionalities.  However, the potentially sensitive nature of the data collected (for example, the location of specific individuals) may impose strong security and privacy requirements for aggregating and using sensor data.  To support such sensitive-data scenarios, we developed an encrypted database that enables aggregation of encrypted sensor data across several databases – reducing risk of exposure if a single database becomes compromised – and supports authorized database search and analyses, all without ever decrypting the data.

This work was supported by DARPA and NIWC Pacific under Contract No. N66001-15-C-4065, Distribution Statement A: “Approved for Public Release, Distribution Unlimited. If you have any questions, please contact the Public Release Center”. The views, opinions and/or findings expressed are those of the author and should not be interpreted as representing the official views or policies of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.