Tata Consultancy Services, a leading global technology services organisation, announced that it has entered into a five-year research and development collaboration with Stanford University, one of the leading academic institutions in the US, for research in the critical area of data privacy.
TCS and the computer science department at Stanford University will work on joint projects focused in the area of data privacy. The projects will be selected so that genuine collaboration can take place with TCS scientists working in the area of security and data privacy at the Tata Research Development and Design Centre (TRDDC), the company's software engineering research centre in Pune, India.
Stanford University plays a key role in National Science Foundation-led initiatives to accelerate research into security and data privacy. It is part of TRUST — Team for Research in Ubiquitous Secure Technology — a multi-university initiative that includes UC Berkeley, Cornell University and Carnegie Mellon University as well as industrial partners like Cisco Systems, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Sun and Symantec.
In addition to TRUST, the Stanford Security Lab leads the NSF-sponsored Privacy, Obligations, and Rights in Technologies of Information Assessment (PORTIA) project on privacy and computer security.
Stanford computer science professor John Mitchell (a co-principal investigator of TRUST) as well as computer science professor Rajeev Motwani and computer science and electrical engineering professor Hector Garcia-Molina will work closely with TCS researchers on this critical area of data security. Research staff from TRDDC will be spending extended periods of time at Stanford University, while experts from Stanford will also visit the Pune research centre. The five-year collaborative research project on data security and privacy started from January 1, 2006 and TCS is making a substantial financial contribution to the research project.
As part of the collaboration, TCS will become an industrial partner on data privacy in the new TRUST initiative as well as a member of the Stanford Computer Forum: Industry Affiliates Program.
"As a global technology services company, TCS believes in investing in the critical technologies for the future and the collaboration with Stanford University will complement and enhance the work being done by TCS' R&D teams in the area of data privacy," said S Ramadorai, CEO and MD of TCS.
"A number of TCS' customers have expressed the need for data privacy tools and this collaboration with Stanford University will help TCS provide leading edge data masking tools for clients to securely transmit data," Mr Ramadorai added.
"The collaboration with TCS is an exciting opportunity to engage India's high technical and scientific skills to help accelerate progress in this important field of data privacy," said James Plummer, the Dean of the School of Engineering at Stanford University.
"Stanford has been a prominent centre in computer security since the ground-breaking work done on public-key cryptography more than 25 years ago," Dr Plummer added.
"Stanford is one of the leading US universities working in the area of data privacy and TCS' research collaboration in this area is a clear indication of our commitment to new technologies and gives us is a strong differentiator versus other service companies," said Mathai Joseph, head of TRDDC.
TCS has made considerable progress in the field of data privacy and its data masking tool, Masketeer™ was released in October last year. The tool masks personal and sensitive information in such a way that the resultant masked data provides a good balance of data utility along with data privacy, and is currently under evaluation and testing by customers.