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Privacy-preserving crowd monitoring A WiFi-tracking project

Project information

The project

We examine how to safely and responsibly collect WiFi tracking data such that it is virtually impossible to track an individual. In this way, we want to prevent the needless and privacy invasive WiFi tracking of smartphones as seems to increasingly become common practice in many cities.

The work is primarily done at the UT, in collaboration with Enschede and the University Polytehnica Bucharest (UPB), as well as with Bluemark Innovations.

We anticipate several solutions for safely tracking WiFi-enabled devices, but also solutions for gathering data sets of scanned devices from which it is virtually impossible to find out who the owner of a device is. To the end, we need to address several hard problems, including storing data such that even the storage servers may be compromised without harming the preservation of privacy, as well as securing collected MAC addresses in a privacy preserving manner. It is unclear as yet whether we will be able to succeed.

how to collaborate

There are several ways to collaborate, mostly by helping out on data sets: securing them and other hand trying to break our security solutions.

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Research and analysis

My project updates

6 Apr 2017

Outdoor scanners being tested

We finally, after a very long time, managed to get the equipment for installing outdoor scanners. The problem was that outdoor scanners need to be placed at convenient places, meaning also that they need to be powered. Lamp posts are ideal, but when the lights are switched off, so will our scanners. The solution is using powerful batteries that are (fully) charged during the night. We are now running tests to see if we can have a scanner operate 24/7, partly powered through a 20 Ah battery. Once successful, we'll start installing some 70 scanners around the campus.

Stay tuned.