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Privacy in the Smart Grid: Two New Challenges

Wed Oct 26, 2:00pm-3pm, EEB 248.

Two new privacy challenges in the smart grid are presented. First, at the transmission level of the network, a novel problem of competitive privacy is introduced which captures the conflicting interests of collaboration and competition amongst regional energy operators (RTOs) that are interested in estimating the state in a distributed fashion. Second, at the end-user level, the deployment of smart meters leads to the problem of managing the tradeoff between guaranteed privacy to the consumer and utility (benefit) to both consumers and electricity providers. Using the theory of rate distortion, a utility-privacy framework is presented for both problems to quantify precisely the tradeoff between the utility of either cooperating for distributed state estimation or using smart meters and the resulting privacy leakage. The talk is based on joint work with Soummya Kar, Soheil Mohajer, S. Raj Rajagopalan, Ravi Tandon and H. Vincent Poor.

Bio: Lalitha Sankar received the B.Tech degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, the M.S. degree from the University of Maryland, and the Ph.D degree from Rutgers University in 2007. Prior to her doctoral studies, she was a Senior Member of Technical Staff at AT&T Shannon Laboratories. Following her doctorate, Dr. Sankar was a recipient of a three year Science and Technology Teaching Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Council on Science and Technology at Princeton University. She is currently a Research Scholar at Princeton University. Her research interests include wireless communications, information privacy and secrecy, and network information theory. For her doctoral work, she received the 2007-2008 Electrical Engineering Academic Achievement Award from Rutgers University.

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