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Biometric User-Centric Sensory Networks (BUSNET)

Researchers: Dimitrios Hatzinakos and Kostas Plataniotis (NSERC Strategic Research Project)

Industry Partners: DRDC Toronto, Bell Canada

The aim of the project is to develop integrated security architecture to effectively and efficiently secure and protect sensitive information and data within the domain of a care enterprise such as wireless health care and home care applications and services. Specifically, this research initiative will be examining issues and developing solutions for processing of biometrics signals, biometrics registration and authentication, biometrics key generation and management as well as biometrics-based data authentication. Implementations of the proposed architecture using specific realizations of suitable wireless Body Area Network (BAN) configurations will be also developed, examined and analyzed in collaboration with our industrial partners.

Selected publications and presentations:

Agrafioti, F., Bui, F.M., and Hatzinakos, D. Medical biometrics in mobile computing. Wiley's Security and Communication Networks Journal — Special Issue on Biometric Security for Mobile Computing. Accepted February 2010.

Agrafioti, F., Bui, F., and D. Hatzinakos. On supporting anonymity in a BAN biometric framework. DSP-2009, Santorini, Greece, July 5, 2009 (Presentation).

ECG recognition and classification (Project report).


Access Control based on Content Encryption and Secret Sharing (ACCESS)

Researchers: Dimitrios Hatzinakos and Kostas Plataniotis

Industry Partner: Bell Canada  

The target of the proposed ACCESS architecture is to provide enhanced multilevel security and access control, either to multimedia content or to services and applications while at the same time provide privacy and confidentiality. The overall objective is to propose efficient security solutions and frameworks where data hiding methodologies such as watermarking and fingerprinting, encryption technologies and biometric signal processing are used in an integrated symbiotic way to provide secure access control to facilities, electronic services and digital record content in terms of increased confidentiality, authentication and integrity.

Selected publications and presentations:

Bui, F.M., Martin, K., Lu, H., Plataniotis, K. and Hatzinakos, D. Fuzzy key binding strategies based on quantization index modulation (QIM) for biometric encryption (BE) applications. IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security, Volume 5(1), pp. 118-132, March 2010.

Access control based on content encryption and secret sharing (ACCESS) (Project report).


Participation in “MUSES_SECRET: Multimodal-SurvEillance System for SECurity-RElaTed Applications”

Researchers: Dimitrios Hatzinakos and Kostas Plataniotis (ORF Research Excellence Project)  

Industry Partners: IBM Canada, Visual Cortek

The proposed MUSES-SECRET project aims at the development and commercialization of new multimodal (video and infrared, voice and sound, RFID and perimeter intrusion) intelligent sensor technologies for location and socio-cultural context-aware security risk assessment and decision support in human-crowd surveillance applications in environments such as school campuses, hospitals, shopping centers, subways or railway stations, airports, sports and artistic arenas etc. The resulting system should provide efficient multi granularity-level function-specific feedback for the human users who are the final assessors and decision makers in the specific security monitoring situation.

Selected publications and presentations:

MPCA: Multilinear principal component analysis of tensor objects. IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks, vol. 19, no.1, pp. 18-39, January 2008.

"Smart" Private Eyes in Public Places? Video Surveillance Analytics, New Privacy Threats and Protective Alternatives

Researchers: Andrew Clement, Kostas Plataniotis, Joseph Ferenbok (OPC)

This research proposes to examine the use of video analytics ("smart" processing) in the area of video surveillance. The research will review state-of-the-art video analytics technologies, and assess a privacy protection scheme developed by the university in laboratory. Researchers also plan to survey businesses in the Toronto area that are using video surveillance, and to assess compliance with PIPEDA for video records that should be available under the Individual Access Principle. The results will be shared in a report and public forum.


A Privacy Protective 'Proportionate ID Digital Wallet' for Canadians: Open Prototyping and Public Policy Alternatives

Researcher: Andrew Clement, Matt Ratto, Joseph Ferenbok (OPC)

This research project aims to demonstrate publicly the technical and operational viability of a mobile digital device that offers a privacy protective alternative to conventional ID schemes. Rather than routinely turn over fully identifying data, the device would reveal identity information only in proportion to what is actually needed. What we refer to as a 'proportionate ID digital wallet’ would securely dispense the minimum necessary identity certificates for conducting in-person service transactions.


The New Transparency: Surveillance and Social Sorting

Researcher: Andrew Clement (SSHRC)

The goal of the New Transparency is to create a benchmark for surveillance studies that is comparative and critical, informed by multi-disciplinary approaches and has cutting-edge policy relevance. It will move beyond the limitations of existing local- and present-oriented studies to comparative and cross-disciplinary studies, and will take into account rapid information technology changes and pivotal political-economic and cultural shifts, not least the developments since 9/11. No previous collaborative research project worldwide has undertaken the examination of surveillance in the way proposed.

Selected publications and presentations:

IXmaps or CHmaps: Rendering visible the "interesting" features of internet backbones, especially sites of surveillance (Presentation).

Transparency and surveillance: Perspectives on identity, privacy and security (Presentation).

Performing IDentities

Researchers: Andrew Clement, David J. Phillips, Colin J Bennett (SSHRC funding)

The Performing Identities project seeks to fill academic and practical gaps in our understanding of how people perform and experience their individual identities in their everyday encounters with identification based services and technologies. It will contribute to the articulation of 'identity rights,' as human rights distinct from other informational rights such as privacy. This will also provide the basis for the development of sound 'human-centred’ identification devices, systems, policies, legislation, agencies and practices. 

Selected publications and presentations:

Toward secure and privacy sensitive ID/authentication? (Presentation).


PIPWatch: The Collaborative Privacy Enhancing Toolbar

Researcher: Andrew Clement (SSHRC and BUL)

PIPWatch is a software tool designed to help Canadian Internet users quickly determine if a website they visit is compliant with Canadian legislation, in particular the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), before they submit their personal information. PIPWatch uses social navigation and web annotation techniques to allow privacy concerned Canadians to compare websites based on how well they protect personal data.

Selected publications and presentations:

Clement, A., Ley, D., Costantino, T., Kurtz, D., Tissenbaum, M. PIPWatch Toolbar: Using social navigation to enhance privacy protection and compliance. IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, Spring 2010, pp. 50-57, Volume: 29 Issue: 1

SmartData: Make the Data 'Think' for Itself: Data Protection in the 21st Century

Researchers: George Tomko, Don Borrett, Hon Kwan, Greg Steffan

Partner: Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner

The inaugural meeting of IPSI Cognitive Agents Roundtable took place on March 13, 2009, and included 18 participants from a variety of disciplines, including physiology, cognitive science, philosophy, computer science, engineering, neuroscience, mathematics and privacy. Following this meeting, and a number of wiki discussions, a 2nd roundtable meeting was held on the 21st of May. During these meetings, it was determined that the concept of 'SmartData' - in which personal or proprietary information is embedded within, and protected by, an intelligent agent - is an avenue that could lead to significant research success for the IPSI team.

We have been encouraged by the significant progress that we have seen on this initiative, and are currently pursuing various funding possibilities with interested industry partners. With the leadership of IPSI's Expert-in-Residence, Dr. George Tomko, and the co-operation of IPSI staff and researchers, especially Professors Kostas Plataniotis and Dimitris Hatzinakos, we are looking forward to creating a highly successful research program, and potentially introducing the next Big Idea in privacy and online data protection.

So far we have achieved the following:

  • Submitted an NSERC grant proposal with HP and GS1 as industrial partners;
  • Made presentations on SmartData to Google, IBM, HP, GS1, GENI, Linden Labs of Second Life, and the Identity in the Information Society conference in Rome.

Selected publications and presentations:

SmartData: Make the data “think” for itself: Data protection for the 21st century. Identity in the Information Society, Volume 3 / 2010.

Health Promotion in the Age of Social Networks: Youth Perspectives on New Media for Health

Researcher: Cameron D. Norman (Ontario Tobacco Research Unit)

This research project investigated the use of new media in public health, through three main research questions: How are young adults using social media for health purposes? Where should public health focus its (social media) efforts for engaging young adults? What privacy and security concerns do young people have about engaging in eHealth? The project revealed that Google and Wikipedia are the primary tool and resource and that young adults use to seek integrated information and health services. The team concluded that social media should be integrated into normal public health communication and that multiple media formats should be explored for communication.


Beyond Privacy: Exploring the Role of Psychological Contract Breach in the Relationship Between Knowledge-Based Marketing Practices and Attitudes

Researchers: David Zweig and Pankaj Aggarwal, Department of Management, UTSC (SSHRC)

This research examines two related explanations underlying the processes that drive consumers’ concern about use of their personal information in marketing databases: privacy invasion, and breach of psychological contract between the brand and the consumer. Results of two studies indicate that the sale of personal information results in greater perceptions of privacy invasion, psychological contract breach, and negative brand attitudes. Further, both privacy invasion and psychological contract breach partially mediate the relation between sale of personal information and brand attitudes. The results also revealed that although privacy is important, perceptions of psychological contract breach best predict negative attitudes towards brands that collect and distribute personal consumer information.


Biometrics Encryption for Face Recognition Solutions: Implementation & Comparative Evaluations

Researchers: Kostas Plataniotis and Dimitrios Hatzinakos (contract with Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation [OLG])

The objective of this work was to research, provide software implementations and comparatively evaluate Biometrics Encryption (BE) solutions that can be utilized as part of the overall OLG initiative to evaluate facial recognition for its self exclusion gaming initiative. The work was part of a study for a system that attempts to solve the problem of identifying subjects in a self-exclusion program using facial recognition, while protecting the privacy of stored personal information. In such a case, the personal information is considered to be the facial image itself, as well as application-specific meta-data related to the subject’s identity.

Selected publications and presentations:

Y. Wang, D. Hatzinakos. On random transformations for changeable face verification. Submitted to IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, Part B.

Y. Wang, D. Hatzinakos. Cancelable face recognition using random multiplicative transform. The 20th International Conference on Pattern Recognition (ICPR), Istanbul, Turkey, Aug. 2010 (Presentation).

Y. Wang, K. N. Plataniotis. An analysis of random projection for changeable and privacy preserving biometric verification. IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, Part B (online Dec. 2009).

K. Martin, H. Lu, F. Bui, K.N. Plataniotis, D. Hatzinakos. A biometric encryption system for the self-exclusion scenario of face recognition. IEEE Systems Journal: Special Issue on Biometrics Systems, vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 440-450, Dec. 2009.

Face recognition using kernel direct discriminant analysis algorithm. IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 117-126, January 2003 (2006 IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks Outstanding Paper Award).


Food4Health Project: Youth Voices Research Group

Researchers: Cameron D. Norman, Rob McLaughlin, Alex Jadad, Dalla Lana School of Public Health (Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion)

The Food4Health project sought to test a systemic intervention strategy connecting programs together through evaluation and social media and evaluating the impact on collaboration and knowledge translation (KT). Future project work will explore the privacy and security concerns and issues of participants. The initial project included a multi-sectoral, participatory strategy for issue identification, exploration and solution generation through face-to-face and social software platforms and it engaged youth in food systems issues using social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter) integrating a feedback generation system that linked data through a central repository that supported rapid, coordinated KT across programs. Food4Health demonstrated that social media create knowledge exchange opportunities and vastly increase the speed of KT across programs, allowing evidence to be mobilized immediately resulting in an action research process that becomes more responsive to knowledge users.

Selected publications and presentations:

Norman, C.D., Charnaw-Burger, J., Yip, A., Saad, S., & Lombardo, C. (in press). Designing health innovation networks using complexity science and systems thinking: The CoNEKTR Model. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice.

Norman, C.D. (in press). Bridging online and offline social networks to promote health innovation: The CoNEKTR Model. In Biswas, R., & Martin, C. (Eds.). Utilizing Collaborative Social Networks and Technologies. IGI Books.

Norman, C.D., Charnaw-Burger, J., Lombardo, C., Saad, S., & Yip., A. (June 2010). Creating capacity for collaboration in food systems and public health practice: The Food4Health Project. Poster presentation at the annual meeting of the Canadian Public Health Association, Toronto, ON. June 17, 2010.

Norman, C.D. (2009). Youth leaders: Food4Health. Final report submitted to the Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion.