Invited Speaker

Big Data Privacy- Is Blockchain an Exit?


Qing Tan, PhD

Associate Professor

School of Computing and Information Systems

Faculty of Science and Technology, Athabasca University

University Drive,  Athabasca, Alberta, Canada, T9S3A3

1-866-442-3221  & 1-780-989-5365  &

Abstract: In the digital era, personal privacy has been a great concern because of information security and extensive collection and sharing of personal data. Big Data Analytics is dramatically changing the way how personal privacy information is collected, processed, and use. It deepens the concern of privacy violation and increases the challenge of privacy protection. While we embrace the convenience and effectiveness of Big Data Analytics, we are also suffering from losing the control of our own personal data and privacy. Sweeney asked: “Computer science got us into this mess, can Computer Science get us out of it?”. The answer is still a “not sure”. New Blockchain technology allows us to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It provides a secure transparent record while protecting the details of the data itself with its decentralized and distributed digital leger. It may provide us with tools or methods that can protect private information while we take the advantage of Big Data Analytics. Is it the technical solution of the Big Data Privacy issue?

:Dr.QingTAN2016.jpgDr. Qing Tan is an associate professor in School of Computing and Information Systems at Athabasca University. He earned his PhD in Cybernetics Engineering for  Robotics from the Norwegian Institute of Technology in 1993. The Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute invited him in 1994 as a foreign senior research fellow. He joined Athabasca University in 2007 with extensive IT industrial experiences.

Dr. Tan is teaching and developing undergraduate and graduate courses including Mobile Computing, Computer Networking, E-Commerce, Enterprise Modeling, Cloud Computing, and Big Data. Dr. Tan’s research interests include Location-Based Technology, Mobile Computing, Adaptive Mobile Learning and Commerce, Enterprise Computer Network, Cyber Security, Internet of Things, Big Data, Cloud Computing, Cyber-Physical System, and Telepresence Robotics.

Dr. Tan was one of the first people to introduce the location awareness of mobile devices into mobile learning applications. He has developed the four-layer research framework for his location-based mobile learning research. Dr. Tan has additionally developed the Location-Based Dynamic Grouping Algorithm for collaborative mobile learning, the 5R Adaptation Framework for location-based mobile learning system, and the Location-based Object Identification Algorithm for Augmented Reality in adaptive mobile learning. While Dr. Tan’s research studies the theoretic and academic problems, he also strives to solve the application issues. He is working on building a cyber-physical system, the telepresence robot for smart labs at Athabasca University to allow online students to conduct lab works via the Internet. He also collaborates on the development of a mobile fieldtrip system to assist online students with their fieldwork. Overall, Dr. Tan’s pioneering works have great impact on mobile learning research and development.  Dr. Tan received many research grants and published many papers on international journals and conferences.


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