Drone delivery: IISc devises privacy aid | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: As the use of unmanned aerial vehicles or remotely piloted vehicles aka drones for delivery could be reality soon in India, there are concerns of privacy issues as these devices have sensors such as cameras and microphones.
Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science’s department of computer science and automation here have developed Privaros, which allows host airspaces (apartment complexes, universities, etc) to ensure that delivery drones are privacy-compliant.
As the sector opens up to more operators, there’s a possibility of a malicious operator misusing sensors to turn drones into flying spies. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has given permission to 13 consortia for delivery experiments.
Privaros can be integrated with drone operation policies such as India’s Digital Sky framework, IISc says.
‘Privacy aid designed for commercial delivery drones’
Privaros is designed for commercial delivery drones, such as those of Amazon Prime Air. Such drones visit various host airspaces, each with different privacy requirements. The framework uses mandatory access control to enforce policies of these hosts. Privaros is tailored for ROS (robot operating system), a middleware popular in many drone platforms,” researchers Prof Vinod Ganapathy and team added.
In India, the first consortium to receive DGCA clearance to test delivery drones was from Bengaluru.
Privaros incorporates new mechanisms into drone software that allows host-specified policies on board the drone. Trusted hardware on the drone can prove to the host airspace that it (drone) complies with its policies.
Ganapathy told TOI: “We have a working prototype.” The team evaluated Privaros on an Nvidia Jetson TX2 development kit, motivated by the fact that unlike most off-the-shelf drones, it is equipped with a hardware trusted execution environment and allows programmable access to both secure and normal world.
Their evaluation showed that a drone running Privaros can robustly enforce various privacy policies specified by hosts, and its core mechanisms only marginally increase communication latency and power consumption.

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Sagar Biswas

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