DHS S&T awards Raytheon BBN Technologies $1.3M for data privacy research

Raytheon BBN 112The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced on April 26 that it has awarded $1.3 million to Raytheon BBN Technologies (BBN), Cambridge, MA, to develop technology to perform multiple online searches simultaneously to allow information sharing while preserving privacy.  The project titled “Privacy Preserving Federated Search and Sharing (PPFS2)” was awarded through the DHS S&T Cyber Security Division’s Broad Agency Announcement (HSHQDC-14-R-B0014-TTA-3-0017-I) and is part of the larger data privacy program that aims to develop innovative, easy-to-use and cost-effective privacy-enhancing technologies that are ready to deploy.

“We cannot underestimate the need for sharing information in a manner that respects privacy,” said DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology Dr. Reginald Brothers. “S&T is working to ensure the Department can perform federated searches across multiple data sources while continuing to protect personally identifiable information consistent with our policies.”

The S&T Cyber Security Division’s (CSD) Data Privacy Program is aligned with the Federal Cyber Security Research and Development strategic initiatives to develop a targeted set of research priorities to ensure that cyberspace is safe, trustworthy and prosperous. BBN’s proposed PPFS2 technology aims to combine advanced cryptography and policy reasoning to facilitate the sharing of useful information while maintaining the necessary protections on the search data.

“Discovering, analyzing and sharing distributed mission-critical data needs to incorporate both privacy and security controls,” said Anil John, S&T Data Privacy Program Manager. “S&T CSD is working to develop innovative solutions that ensure the protection of individual privacy consistent with applicable law, policy and mission.”

The BBN team, led by Dr. Partha Pal, will develop the technology in two phases. The first will integrate privacy-preserving federated search and policy reasoning, and the second will focus on expanding the scalability of the system.  S&T CSD is partnering with the Israel National Cyber Bureau on this effort.

Source: DHS