The National Science Foundation has awarded a $1.8 million grant to three professors in the Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing. The award will fund research into making "smart" common household items more secure.
Professors Jean Camp, Steve Myers and Ryan Henry will lead the study, which is being done in collaboration with researchers from the University of Washington. IU says the study will explore ways to protect the privacy of intended and unintended users of connected home technology, such as refigerators, door locks and home security systems.
"The privacy issues in an ‘internet of things’ environment are numerous," said Camp. "It creates a world where many people may interact with the same technology, and technology may interact with many other technologies. Even in traditional digital environments, like the web, privacy can be extremely challenging; users often aren’t even aware it’s been compromised."
Myers says they are seeking ways to allow people to interact with Internet of Things devices without their privacy unknowingly being compromised.
"This work isn’t about individual users, it’s about considering everyone who might be touched by this coming technology," said Camp. "We’re not interested in studying privacy and security as an idealistic goal, but rather in addressing the privacy needs of real people in the real world."