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Prof. Baldimtsi is awarded the National Science Foundation Early Career Research Award. The title of her project is CAREER: Privacy Preserving Transactions with Accountability Extensions.

Abstract of her project:

The amount of digital data collected and handled electronically is constantly increasing and poses serious threats to user privacy. While several cryptographic mechanisms that enhance data privacy exist in the literature, they suffer from prohibitive computational and communication costs and do not offer accountability mechanisms. Without improvements in efficiency and addition of accountability mechanisms, it is unlikely that the so much needed privacy-preserving systems will be massively adopted. Towards the goal of bringing privacy-enhancing technologies closer to adoption, this project defines and constructs a number of new cryptographic building blocks such as new types of digital signatures, cryptographic accumulators and zero-knowledge proofs which are at the core of mechanisms used to enhance privacy.

In order to build practical protocols, the project introduces new security relaxations and security models (such as user-device separation) while adhering to the principles of provable secure protocol design, and designs accountability mechanisms for different system participants without relying on trusted third parties and secret trapdoors. The research is organized under three main thrusts which focus on different application areas. Namely, the project investigates anonymous decentralized payments (blockchain based), anonymous authentication (via the use of anonymous credentials), and auditable multi-party computation (MPC) for specific functions. The performed research includes collaborations with Policy and Economics researchers in order to design meaningful accountability mechanisms and leverage blockchain incentives. The project provides education on fundamentals and practices of cryptography and privacy-preserving techniques to students with various backgrounds: from K-12 students to engineering and CS students, as well as policy students and senior executives studying at the MBA level.

More information here: https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=2143287&HistoricalAwards=false

List of all Career Awardees at CS@GMU: https://cs.gmu.edu/about/faculty-awards/