Galois Awarded $6.3M DARPA Contract To Research Private Data As A Service

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Galois’ Jana project selected by DARPA Brandeis program to break logjam between maintaining data privacy and tapping into full potential of big data

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Galois today announced that its Jana project has been selected for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Brandeis program – an ambitious effort to unlock the full potential of big data while protecting the privacy of data as it is shared and analyzed across the government, enterprise and consumer markets.

Named for former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, who as a Harvard Law student penned the seminal essay “The Right to Privacy”, Brandeis aims to develop tools and techniques for building systems in which private data may be used only for its intended purpose and no other. Brandeis seeks to restructure society’s relationship with data by providing the data owner with mechanisms for protecting their data before sharing it with a data user.

Jana, a multi-disciplinary collaboration between Galois, the University of Bristol, Rutgers University and George Mason University, aims to provide a practical implementation of private data as a service (PDaaS), which would allow data to be protected against misuse while retaining its utility to analysts. In Jana, contributed data is encrypted at all times, starting before it leaves its owner’s possession. Results of queries against that data are limited to how much data the owner is willing to reveal, to whom and when.

“Imagine if corporations had the confidence to share network and cyber-attack data to prevent future attacks; if genotype/phenotype data could be leveraged for personalized medicine without putting patient privacy at risk; or if government agencies at every level had the confidence to fully share information to strengthen homeland security,” said Dr. Dave Archer, Research Lead, Cryptography & Multiparty Computation at Galois. “Jana embodies the vision of the Brandeis program, which is to unlock the full value of big data – while maintaining the highest levels of privacy as data is shared and analyzed. We believe the potential impact of Brandeis, of which Jana is a key component, is game changing. We are thrilled to participate in this program.”

Data as a Service (DaaS), a scalable model where many analysts can access a shared data resource, is commonplace. However, security breaches and legal but unintended use of DaaS-stored data can compromise the privacy of the data subjects. Jana will deliver a privacy service that protects data while retaining its utility to analysts, and will demonstrate how an interoperable, open-source set of cryptographic, secure computation and privacy analytics building blocks can meet the Brandeis goals in a practical way that future systems can leverage.

About Galois
Galois has been performing computer science research and development since 1999. With many of the world’s foremost experts in computer science and mathematics and a world-class team of programmers and engineers, Galois is uniquely positioned to take on the world’s most difficult challenges in computer science. Galois is a trusted partner in the defense and intelligence industries, proving the feasibility of cutting edge research as it applies to critical systems. Technology companies turn to Galois to build reliability, safety and security into their product development efforts from day one. For additional information, visit http://www.galois.com.

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Brian Lustig
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