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IPSI 2010 Research Symposium

Wednesday, May 12, 2010
8:30 am-4:30 pm
Bahen Centre, University of Toronto
40 St. George Street, Room 1160

The theme for IPSI's 2010 Research Symposium is “Developing a trusted cyber-infrastructure for Canadians”. This recognizes that the internet and related digital networks now play a critical role on contemporary society. A well-functioning cyber infrastructure is taken for granted for a wide range of activities, but significant disruption and controversy arise when it doesn't work in the ways its numerous users expect it to. Many of the key technology challenges have been solved, but in their place are arising thorny problems for which purely technical approaches are inadequate. Beyond meeting basic performance criteria, varied stakeholders are placing complex and often competing demands on the cyber-infrastructure:

  • Can I shop on-line from anywhere, at any time, on any device I like, and still keep my money safe and secure?
  • Will my identity or civil liberties be compromised?
  • Can I share my personal information freely with my friends without it being used in harmful ways?

These and many similar issues are central to IPSI's mandate and may be summarized as "Can I trust the infrastructure to behave the way I want it to?" This Research Symposium takes up these questions from a suitably broad range of perspectives. It brings together academic researchers from disparate disciplines as well as experts from the private, public and civil society sectors in lively panel sessions to share research, offer insights and generally probe these challenges.



8:30-9:15 Registration and Breakfast
9:15 Welcome


Stefan Brands

Keynote Presentation: The Future of Digital Identity
Speaker: Dr. Stefan Brands, Credentica

Governments and businesses around the world are pursuing efforts for securely identifying individuals and for efficiently sharing information about them. The push for digital mechanisms for managing identity information is particularly strong in the areas of electronic commerce, e-government, national identity cards, critical information infrastructures, defense, electronic health record management, and social networking. In this keynote, Stefan Brands will provide an overview of the leading efforts and trends in digital identity, and discuss the main challenges ahead.

Stefan Brands has been active in the area of digital identity since the early nineties, both academically and as an entrepreneur and industry expert. In 2008 he sold his U-Prove identity technology to Microsoft and joined the company’s Identity and Security Division for two years as a Principal Architect. Stefan is also an adjunct professor in cryptology at McGill University and serves on the advisory board of the Electronic Privacy Information Centre.

10:10-11:00 Panel Response and Discussion

Chair: Andrew Clement (Faculty of Information, IPSI)


11:00-11:15 Break
11:15-12:30 Session I: Protecting Identity and Privacy in Cyber-Infrastructure Use: Ubiquitous Surveillance, Anonymity and De-Identification

The growth of ubiquitous networks with fine-grained monitoring capabilities promises significant benefits but raises serious privacy concerns. Sensor networks, ambient computing, universal health records, ubiquitous video surveillance, etc. all produce gushers of detailed information potentially useful for safety, health promotion, environmental protection, efficient management and other pro-social purposes. However, typically this data is linked to identifiable individuals, often without needing to.

This raises privacy and identity questions such as: What are the personal information collection practices and risks in sensor networks and the like? Can valuable data be collected without identifying subjects? If personal information needs to be collected, can it be adequately de-identified for safe use? In short, can we bake our massive data cake and enjoy eating it too?

Chair: Konstantinos N. (Kostas) Plataniotis (Professor, Eletrical & Computer Engineering Director, Knowledge Media Design Institute & IPSI)


12:30-1:30 Lunch
1:30-2:45 Session II: Developing Trust in Critical Cyber-Infrastructure: Open, Public, Social, Civil Networks??

The internet plays an increasingly central, even critical role in the conduct of everyday life. But there are a wide and growing range of threats to internet infrastructure and our trust in it. Openness is a vital principle, but fosters bot-nets and other malware that impair use and undermine infrastructural integrity. Law enforcement seeks to surveil network traffic, but can we retain our rights intact? Social networking is a popular way to keep in touch, but how can we nurture the trust it requires?

This session discusses a variety of such threats at multiple levels and from several perspectives. How can we achieve the necessary tradeoffs without compromising core principles?

Chair: Al Leon-Garcia (Dept. of Electrical & Computer Engineering)


2:45-3:00 Break
3:00-4:15 Session III: Interdisciplinary Collaborative Research and Training: Bridging the Gaps

Tackling the thorny challenges of trusted cyber-infrastructure development requires collaboration across disciplinary, institutional and sectoral divisions. What are good models to learn from? What are the pitfalls to avoid? What are some concrete projects to pursue?

Chair: Dimitris Hatzinakos (Dept. of Electrical & Computer Engineering, IPSI)


4:15-4:30 Wrap-up
4:30- Wine and Cheese Reception w/cash bar (Main Lounge, U of T Faculty Club, 41 Willcocks Street)

Click here to register (registration is free)
Please provide your full name, organization, and email address.


Live Webcast

To view the webcast, click on http://hosting.epresence.tv/KMDI/1/page/Home.aspx and choose the session you want to watch from one of the boxes on the right (see diagram). Follow the registration instructions given.