Privacy and Anonymous Communication

Privacy and Anonymous Communication

Bachelor Thesis, Master Thesis

Privacy is essential to preserving individuals' dignity, identity, and freedom of speech. Billions of people use applications and participate in various online services daily. However, people are mostly unaware that software and service providers often monetize their personal content and data for profits or collect usage data to infer habits and preferences. As a result of many recent data breaches and data misuse incidents, users are increasingly concerned about their privacy when using applications and digital services.

Our research on privacy encompasses various efforts towards addressing people’s privacy concerns in such a way that applications and digital services remain usable. We primarily focus on the following aspects:

  • dealing with privacy threats related to (meta-) data leakage and profiling in communications (Anonymous Communication),
  • enabling privacy-preserving collaborative data analytics approaches (Privacy-preserving Analytics) and
  • technically enhancing the privacy of individuals and enforcing the minimization of private data in applications and digital services (Privacy-enhancing Technologies).

We offer various topics around the research area of privacy, including but not limited to:

  • Enabling private data, users’ preference, and behavior sharing in applications and digital services while still preserving the privacy of individuals
  • Technical solutions for well-established but still mostly theoretically examined privacy principles, like data minimization, limitations on purposes, and data storage limits, which are also anchored in the EU General Data Protection Regulation.
  • Applying federated learning in a privacy-preserving manner and investigating potential attacks.
  • Establishing provable anonymity guarantees to protect communication metadata while disseminating data efficiently.
  • Developing mitigation solutions for attacks that are launched against decentralized anonymous communication systems.

Feel free to contact us, if you are interested in one of the topic or in privacy in general for a bachelor / master thesis.

Requirements:

  • Good programming skills
  • (depends) mathematics, (deep) machine learning, cryptography
  • Enthusiastic mindset and proactive attitude towards highly relevant but often complex topics