Indian Institute of Science tackles drone privacy concerns

The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has developed an interesting method to solve drone privacy when it comes to delivery and other commercial operations. The method involves each host airspaces developing their own drone privacy policies.

Professor Vinod Ganapathy and his team from the Indian Institute of Science have developed Privaros, a system that allows host airspaces to have their own set of privacy rules all drones entering must follow.

While Privaros hasn’t officially been taken up by the Indian or any other government, it will likely be integrated into its Digital Sky Framework.

A simple breakdown of the new system can be seen in the following diagram and short description.

Host airspace, such as an apartment complex or college, develops its own drone privacy policy to govern how the drones fly in the airspace. The policy is then uploaded to the aviation authority and sent to the drone operator. The policy is then directly uploaded to the drone flying into the airspace.

Any host airspace the drone enters must follow the policy. This does require the drone to store multiple policies depending on the flight path and delivery location. It seems a little more logical to have a base policy that each host airspace can add on to, but I like the idea behind it.

The research team is currently using an Nvidia Jetson TX2 development kit to get the Privaros system running and tested. The reason to use the Jetson TX2 is based on the fact that it uses similar hardware to off-the-shelf drones and is equipped with a hardware trusted execution environment.

Ganapathy and the team added:

Privaros is designed for commercial delivery drones, such as the ones that will likely be used by Amazon Prime Air. Such drones visit various host airspaces, each of which may have different privacy requirements. The framework uses mandatory access control to enforce the policies of these hosts on guest delivery drones. Privaros is tailored for ROS (robot operating system), a middleware popular in many drone platforms,” the researchers added. We have a working prototype that has proven the concepts.

Photo: Indian Institute of Science



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Josh started in the drone community in 2012 with a drone news Twitter account. Over the years Josh has gained mass exposure from his aerial photography work and spends his days writing drone content for DroneDJ as well as pursuing his business.