Quest: Privacy-Preserving Monitoring of Network Data: A System for Organizational Response to Pandemics

Shantanu Sharma, Sharad Mehrotra, Nisha Panwar, Nalini Venkatasubramanian, Peeyush Gupta, Shanshan Han, Guoxi Wang

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Most modern organizations today support network infrastructure to provide ubiquitous network coverage at their premises. Such a network infrastructure consisting of a set of access points deployed at different locations in buildings can be used to support coarse-level localization of individuals, who connect to the infrastructure using their mobile devices. This paper describes a system, entitled QUEST that supports a variety of applications (e.g., identifying hotspot regions, finding people who are potentially exposed to a condition such as COVID-19, occupancy count of a region/floor/building) based on network data to empower organizations to maintain safety at their workplace/premises. QUEST builds the above functionalities while fully protecting the privacy of individuals. QUEST incorporates computationally- and information-theoretically-secure protocols that prevent adversaries from gaining knowledge of an individuals location history (based on WiFi data). We describe the architecture, design choices, and implementation of the proposed security/privacy techniques in QUEST. We, also, validate the practicality of QUEST and evaluate it thoroughly via an actual campus-scale deployment at our organization over a very large dataset of over 50M rows.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    JournalIEEE Transactions on Services Computing
    StateAccepted/In press - 2022


    • Cloud computing
    • computation and data privacy
    • COVID-19
    • Cryptography
    • Data privacy
    • decentralized solution
    • exposure tracing
    • Organizations
    • Privacy
    • WiFi connectivity data
    • Wireless fidelity

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Hardware and Architecture
    • Computer Science Applications
    • Computer Networks and Communications
    • Information Systems and Management


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