Sebastian Zickau

Curcuma Project (2014-2016)


  • BMBF (Software Campus), T-Labs, TU Berlin (SNET)

  • Project website

  • January 17, 2021

Curcuma (Cloud Computing Location Metadata) is a research project that aims at using location information and metadata structures within cloud computing environments to protect, enrich and structure files and access to information, objects and resources within dedicated containers and a client/server ecosystem.

The location information of mobile clients and server ecosystems come into operation when accessing files. The location information on a mobile client is dynamic. This dynamic location attribute is considered when granting access to cloud data. The cloud data is secured with attribute-based encryption (ABE) policies which include viable location information within the access rule. The notion of dynamic attributes enriches this field of research. But not only will the location of the accessing device come into play within the Curcuma scenarios, also the server location is considered when deciding where to store the data with regards to privacy and data protection concerns.

The cloud data itself will be enriched with semantic meta-information to bound the access information to personal user information and the content data itself. Access histories of highly sensitive data, such as personal health records (PHR), will be stored within the metadata structures of the container files. This should be seen as an optional feature which will be applied only to highly personal information.

A subproject of Curcuma is the Open Cloud Computing Map (OCCMap) which provides the basis for the (visual and non-visual) server location information of different cloud computing providers and interlinks to sources regarding data protection laws and other linked-data information. The data provided by the OCCMap will be offered in a structured semantic manner to be included in other open and linked data initiatives.

Contributions of Curcuma will be made in the fields of meta-data structures, semantic linked data, dynamic ABE security/access features, such as location-based access control (LBAC), as well as mobile cloud and mobile data scenarios.

Curcuma has been chosen by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as one of the IT projects in 2014 to be funded within the Software Campus initiative.

Software Campus integrates leading research and practical experience in a new type of concept in order to create a new generation of top managers and entrepreneurs with an excellent IT background.

Equiveillance is a state of equilibrium, or a desire to attain a state of equilibrium, between surveillance and sousveillance. It is sometimes confused with transparency. This balance (equilibrium) allows the individual to construct their own case from evidence they gather themselves, rather than merely having access to surveillance data that could possibly incriminate them.

Sousveillance, in addition to transparency, can be used to preserve the contextual integrity of surveillance data. For example, a lifelong capture of personal experience could provide “best evidence” over external surveillance data, to prevent the surveillance-only data from being taken out of context. (Wikipedia on Equiveillance)