DHS Invests in 2 Companies for Data Privacy Tools

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The awards are part of the department’s Data Privacy portfolio that focuses on sensors, autonomous systems and other emerging tech.

The Homeland Security Department’s Science and Technology Directorate awarded $1.1 million to two companies to curb risks to the department’s critical data.

The department awarded both through long-range broad agency announcements as part of the Data Privacy project, which aims to align the use of emerging technologies like sensors, mobile devices, and autonomous systems with individual’s privacy expectations.

The Regents University of Colorado received $750,000 to develop a drone detection and tracking system called DronePD. Unlike existing detection systems, DronePD would be tailored to the department's civilian mission by being cost-effective and using passive scanning, according to the news release.

The other award focuses on sharing datasets securely. Portland-based Galois Inc. received $399,900 for two capabilities that enhance the department’s Framework for Information Disclosure with Ethical Security platform, which allows users to fine tune what information is disclosed from a dataset. Galois’ risk and utility profile support of FIDES would allow the data provider to assign risk profiles for shared data while the data user could create utility profiles, according to the release.

“These additions to S&T’s Data Privacy portfolio address critical capability gaps for Homeland Security practitioners and instill trust in emergent technologies, “ said S&T Physical and Cyber Security Division Director Mary McGinley. “Support for these initiatives demonstrates how S&T is fostering responsible innovation to protect the nation’s people, infrastructure and assets while also protecting privacy.”

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