University’s privacy protection success

The University of Brighton has helped develop a new software system that empowers citizens to take control of how their private information is used.

Hospitals in Spain and Italy, and government departments in France, Italy and Greece, have successfully applied the new platform in pilot projects, and the European Union has asked for presentations highlighting key aspects and successes.

Funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme, the two-year ‘VisiOn: Visual Privacy Management in User-Centric Open Environments’ project has concluded with the successful development of a visual privacy management platform that enables citizens and public administrations to understand and visualise their privacy needs. It identifies conflicts with regard to different privacy needs and privacy laws and it provides warnings to citizens and organisations informing them of potential privacy breaches.

The University’s Centre for Secure, Intelligent and Usable Systems was part of a consortium of ten other organisations in Europe which carried out the research. The University received €392,000 to develop a critical component of the platform which defines privacy requirements and their visualisation.

Professor Haris Mouratidis, Professor of Software Systems Engineering here in our school, and director of the Centre for Secure, Intelligent and Usable Systems, said: “The University developed novel methods for the modelling and analysis of security and privacy requirements that are key for the privacy threat analysis performed by the VisiOn platform. We also developed a corresponding tool that automates the analysis and integrates with the rest of the platform components.

“This was an exciting project which focused on an issue that is important for all of us, that of privacy of our personal information.

“We all enjoy the benefits of modern technology such as easy exchange and 24/7 access of information. However, most of the time we use services, we have no understanding of how our personal data is used, shared and controlled. This is the case when using public administration services such as self-assessment tax returns.

“The new system will go a long way towards addressing these security and privacy concerns for both individuals and organisations.”

 

Putting learning into practice on placement

Ganiyu Ibraheem, BSc(Hons) Software Engineering tells us why his placement year was the highlight of his course.

I’ve always had an interest in software development; having participated in programming competitions since high school. I decided I wanted to study Software Engineering at Brighton University as it is one of the few universities offering the courses and with the capacity to support my academic needs.

One of the best parts for me has been the amount of support I received from my lecturers, it really proved helpful throughout the course. The staff are very helpful and have lots of ideas on how to progress academically and professionally. And the course is quite flexible as there are numerous modules available to choose from during the final year ranging over different areas of software development.

The highlight of my course has been my placement year. I was a Software Development intern in the Research and Development Information department at AstraZeneca in Cambridge. I worked clinical trials software for the scientists and utility software for use internally within the department.

The most challenging part of the placement the shift from academia into the industrial setting, as this requires you to draw heavily on the knowledge gained in university and apply it to practical projects. The most interesting part was the amount of exposure I gained at AstraZeneca, as the company provided a lot of support and resources for our professional development.

Another highlight of the placement year was receiving a World-wide Developer Conference (WWDC, 2016) Scholarship from Apple, as I attended a lot of seminars from Apple Engineers in the context of Mobile App Development.

I intend to further pursue a career in Research and Development. The course and placement year has enabled me to pursue a master’s degree whilst I spend the summer working at Microsoft Research Cambridge.

I definitely would recommend the course as the course content is very up to date with industry standards and very practical in nature. And I would encourage prospective students to take advantage of the wide array of opportunities and support provided by the academic staff. And also to take a placement year if they can.

Now that data is ubiquitous, how do we make it useful?

We are proud to welcome back one of our distinguished alumni and honorary graduate, Professor Mandy Chessell, for the final Distinguished Lecture series of the year on Tuesday 6 June, 5-6pm in Huxley 300.

As digital technology sweeps through every aspect of our lives, data has become ubiquitous. The problem is that much of this data is useless because it no longer has enough context with it for people, processes and analytics to understand what it means.

This is an amazing opportunity to hear Professor Chessell examine current data management practices and tools and explain why data loses its context. She proposes an alternative and open approach that will expand our ability to use data to its full extent. She also looks at the issue of providing appropriate protection and governance to valuable intellectual property and sensitive data.

Professor Chessell CBE FREng CEng FBCS is an IBM Distinguished Engineer, Master Inventor, member of the IBM Academy of Technology and Fellow of the Royal Academy. Read her profile.

Find out more and book your place at the lecture here.

Searching for UFOs

 

Software Engineering BSc(Hons) final year student, Dominik Boller, has developed camera software to automatically record unusual sightings in the sky.

Dominik’s ‘UFO Detector’ analyses the sky for anomalies and uses computer vision algorithms to record videos.

In his interview on BBC Sussex radio, Dominik talks to Neil Pringle about his project.

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Moulsecoomb Campus Open Day

Open days are a great way to find out about the local area and the campus where you will be studying. You will also be able to hear more about your chosen subject and talk to our staff and current students.

If you are thinking of beginning your studies in 2018 come along to our campus open day on Saturday 17 June. Find out more about open days on our website.

Steven steps up to success!

Steven Salama, who graduates this month with a BSc (Hons) Software Engineering, has won the National Student Employee Step Up to Leadership Award 2016.

Steven, who balances his studies with work for Brighton-based software company RDF Group, saw off stiff competition at university, regional and national levels.

Steven Salama

Steven Salama

Commenting on his achievement, Steven said: “I am very proud of this award because it came after a lot of determination and hard work. Working and studying in parallel is a challenge. But being able to balance both has taught me a lot of skills which are useful in everyday life. It is a privilege to be the first University of Brighton student to win the national Step Up to Leadership award and be named student employee of the year. I would like to thank my tutors at the University, RDF Group and especially my family for all of their support.”

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