Projects & Funding Sources

Running Projects

ERC Starting Grant Privacy-preserving Services On The Internet (PSOTI)

European Research Council, 2020-2025

ERC Starting Grants with funding of up to €1.5 over five years are awarded to researchers with two to seven years of experience since completion of the PhD and a scientific track record showing great promise.

Users of Internet services currently have to entrust the respective service provider with their data. However, attackers or secret services can obtain access to that data by using vulnerabilities or backdoors in hard- or software. Moreover, authorities can force the service provider to give out data. The new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) now mandates that companies take appropriate measures to protect user data.

The ERC Starting Grant „PSOTI“ (Privacy-preserving Services On The Internet) will eliminate the need to trust a single service provider in Internet Services and empower users to keep full control over their data. For this, the user can choose from multiple service providers who jointly process the data, without gaining direct access to the contents. The data will be protected, as long as at least one provider is trustworthy.

The main goal of PSOTI is to develop privacy-preserving services for commonly used applications on the Internet like data storage, online surveys, and email. These services will provide extensive functionalities and will allow to securely and efficiently store, retrieve, search, and process data. This will allow to comply with the GDPR and preserve the fundamental rights to privacy and the protection of personal data.

A practical system for secure multi-party computations will be developed which can also be used for the secure processing of other sensitive data such as in the areas of genomics or machine learning. Also protocols for private search queries will be built that even hide the structure of the query and that can be used in multiple application scenarios.

See also the official fact sheet as well as the press releases by TU Darmstadt and the ERC.

Collaborative Research Center: Cryptography-Based Security Solutions (CROSSING)

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), 2014-2022

Collaborative Research Centers (Sonderforschungsbereiche) are institutions funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and are established at universities to pursue a scientifically ambitious, complex, long-term research program. The goal of the center CROSSING – Cryptography-Based Security Solutions: Enabling Trust in New and Next Generation Computing Environments is to provide cryptography-based security solutions enabling trust in new and next generation computing environments. The solutions will meet the efficiency and security requirements of the new environments and will have sound implementations. They will be easy to use for developers, administrators, and end users of IT, even if they are not cryptography experts. In CROSSING researchers from different areas such as cryptography, IT security, computing hardware, quantum physics, and software engineering will collaborate. In the first funding phase of CROSSING, our group was involved in project S5 (Privacy-Preserving Computation) and project E4 (Compiler for Privacy-Preserving Protocols). In the second funding phase, both projects were merged into project E4 (Compiler for Privacy-Preserving Protocols).


Research Training Group: Privacy and Trust for Mobile Users

GRK Logo

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), 2019-2024

The Doctoral College “Privacy and Trust for Mobile Users” is a Research Training Group (RTG) funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). It is a highly interdisciplinary collaboration between Computer Science and the fields of Law, Economics, Sociology, and usability research. Mobile information and communication technology has become virtually ubiquitous due to the proliferation of smartphones and tablet computers; large sections of the society use it to their advantage. In reference to the relationship users-network, public debates highlight the increasing transparency of users (in the sense of a surveillance society) while the network is deemed to become increasingly nontransparent, i.e. inscrutable. The RTG focuses on major contributions to reversing this trend: It shall enable better privacy protection for users and better transparency, i.e., assessability of the network; Privacy protection shall be customizable to personal interests yet manageable by the lay person; Privacy-opposing economic or societal interests shall be better reconciled. The ENCRYPTO group is involved in research area A (Privacy and Trust in Service Networks).


National Research Center for Applied Cybersecurity ATHENE

Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) & Hessisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst (HMWK), since 2019

The National Research Center for Applied Cybersecurity ATHENE conducts cutting-edge research for the benefit of business, society and government and strives for academic leadership. ATHENE is an agile research organization and therefore capable of responding quickly to new challenges and emerging threats. ATHENE is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Hessian State Ministry for Higher Education, Research and the Arts (HMWK). The ENCRYPTO group is involved in the following subproject:

  • Practical Private Set Intersection for Data Protection (01.01.2019 – 31.12.2022, as part of the mission Future Data Economy and Society (FANCY): Co-Development of Privacy-Enhancing Technologies and Data-Driven Business Models): we will improve the practicality of private set intersection (PSI) protocols that allow to match (and further process) sensitive data collections in a provably secure way without unjustifiably compromising the privacy of the associated individuals.

Awards and Other Funding Sources

Intel Research Award

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Intel Corporation, 2019

The ENCRYPTO group was awarded by Intel Corporation for our research in the area of “Secure and Privacy Preserving AI Frameworks and Run-Times for Data Scientists and Service Providers”. The ENCRYPTO group already has an ongoing research collaboration with the Privacy and Security Research team in Intel AI, San Diego, CA USA headed by Rosario Cammarota.


Intel Early Career Faculty Honor Program Award

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Intel, 2012

The Intel Early Career Faculty Honor Program was created to promote the careers of the best and brightest early career faculty members at the top universities around the world. Awardees are selected through a competitive and rigorous application process and they receive recognition as well as a cash award to help fund their research and sponsor travel to Intel to collaborate with Intel researchers. The Early Career Faculty Honor Program is an annual award that is currently open to select universities in the U.S., Europe, China, and Taiwan.

Finished Projects

Center for Research in Security and Privacy (CRISP)

Privacy-Preserving Computation In The Cloud (PRACTICE)

Center for Advanced Security Research Darmstadt (CASED)

European Center for Security and Privacy by Design (EC SPRIDE)