Privacy-Preserving Coordination in Smart Communities
Parisa Kianmajd (University of California, Davis)
Smart communities of the future have features that make them susceptible to a potential loss of privacy for the citizens they serve. These distributed systems need to be responsive to the individual needs of citizen owners yet still maintain the ability to coordinate actions across a neighborhood. The question we wish to address is how can we provide privacy for such open and decentralized environments? We propose the use of blockchain together with cryptographic primitives to guarantee that even in the absence of a trusted centralized control, users can agree on an optimal plan for sharing the community resources while not disclosing any private data. We do a case study on a smart community power sharing protocol. Our approach enables the citizens to coordinate this activity without revealing details of their power consumption. Blockchain provides the means to build and maintain a distributed storage for privacy sensitive energy usage data. Moreover, blockchain provides us with an append-only immutable chain of records which is essential for our system and ensures the users cannot insert fake points to their energy usage history.