Brown University School of Engineering

Computer Engineering Seminar: RFID Privacy: From Transportation Payments to Implantable Medical Devices

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Friday, April 11, 2014 3:00pm - 4:00pm

Speaker: Professor Wayne Burleson, University of Massachusetts, Amherst Abstract: Although RFID has been widely known for its impact on supply chain and inventory management, two of the most exciting applications from a privacy perspective are in: 1) transportation payment systems and 2) implantable medical devices. This talk presents recent research in both areas, drawing parallels but making important distinctions between the two applications. Both projects involve broad international collaborations due to the large number of technical disciplines involved, as well as varying legal and societal dimensions across different cultures. Transportation payment systems have the ability to divulge user location and hence travel habits. However they also facilitate sophisticated dynamic fare schemes and optimization of the transportation system. Implantable medical devices contain extremely private information about personal health and habits, as well as enabling tracking and other privacy concerns. However, the ability to wirelessly access implanted devices provides enormous health and cost benefits. Both topics raise interesting cross-disciplinary issues in economics, threat models, and ethics as well as more technical aspects of security engineering. This talk will review engineering solutions to both of these domains, including low-power cryptography, physical unclonable functions, and prototyping techniques.