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Faculty Candidate Seminar

Protecting Privacy by Splitting Trust

Henry Corrigan-GibbsPh.D. CandidateStanford University

When the maker of my phone, smart-watch, or web browser
collects data about how I use it, must I trust the
manufacturer to protect that sensitive information from
theft? When I use the cryptographic hardware module in my
laptop, need I trust that it will keep my secrets safe? When
I use a messaging app to chat with friends, must I trust the
app vendor not to sell the details of my messaging activity
for profit?

This talk will show that we can get the functionality we
want from our systems without having to put blind faith in
the correct behavior of these single entities. The principle
is to split our trust — among organizations, or devices, or
users. I will introduce new cryptographic techniques and
systems-level optimizations that make it practical to split
trust in a variety of settings. Then, I will present three
built systems that employ these ideas, including one that
now ships with the Firefox browser.
Henry Corrigan-Gibbs is a Ph.D. candidate at Stanford,
advised by Dan Boneh. His research interests are in applied
cryptography, computer security, and online privacy. Henry
and his collaborators have received the Best Young
Researcher Paper Award at Eurocrypt 2018, the 2016 Caspar
Bowden Award for Outstanding Research in Privacy Enhancing
Technologies, and the 2015 IEEE Security and Privacy
Distinguished Paper Award, and Henry's work has been cited
by IETF and NIST.

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