Canopy: A verifiable privacy-preserving token ring-based communication protocol for smart homes

Nisha Panwar, Shantanu Sharma, Guoxi Wang, Sharad Mehrotra, Nalini Venkatasubramanian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This article focuses on the new privacy challenges that arise in smart homes. Specifically, the article focuses on inferring the user's activities-which may, in turn, lead to the user's privacy-via inferences through device activities and network traffic analysis. We develop techniques that are based on a cryptographically secure token circulation in a ring network consisting of smart home devices to prevent inferences from device activities, via device workflow, i.e., inferences from a coordinated sequence of devices' actuation. The solution hides the device activity and corresponding channel activities, thus preserving the individual's activities. We also extend our solution to deal with a large number of devices and devices that produce large-sized data by implementing parallel rings. Our experiments also evaluate the performance in terms of communication overheads of the proposed approach and the obtained privacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3
JournalACM Transactions on Cyber-Physical Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Optimization
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


  • Channel and device activity
  • Inference attacks
  • Internet of Things
  • Smart homes
  • User privacy


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