Data Privacy and Security in the Cloud

With all the benefits of storing and processing data in the cloud, the security of data in the cloud is still a big concern, and even a road block that rohibits the adoption of the cloud for data rich applications and data management services. In most cases and especially with Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and software-as-a-Service (SaaS), users cannot control and audit their own data stored in the cloud by themselves. Even when the users put relatively little of their sensitive data in the cloud, and instead rely on cloud based information services such as Google Map and Facebook to provide them information of their
interests, there is still a risk that their sensitive queries or the sensitive data embedded in their queries may be exposed. Another risk with the cloud, which hosts vast amount of valuable data and large numbers of services, is that it is a popular target for attacks. To address these problems, we are doing research in the following aspects:

1. Protect individual users' query privacy in the cloud by enabling privately querying on public data, which ultimately can be used to process user queries on private and public data in a seamless manner.

2. Protect privacy of user location and path information in location based services. Since without adequate privacy protection, these systems can be easily misused, e.g. to track users or target them for home invasion.

3. Secure relational data access and management in the cloud and target to satisfy the seemingly conflicting goals of strong data confidentiality, data
reliability and query efficiency.

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