AliDrone: Enabling Trustworthy Proof-of-Alibi for Commercial Drone Compliance

Liu, T., Hojjati, A., Bates, A., Nahrstedt, K.


To appear, 38th IEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems (ICDCS), July 2018. 


Commercial use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or drones, promises to revolutionize the way in which consumers interact with retail services. However, the further adoption of UAVs has been significantly impeded by an overwhelming public outcry over the privacy implications of drone technology. While lawmakers have attempted to establish standards for drone use (e.g., No-Fly-Zones (NFZs)), at present a general technical mechanism for policy enforcement eludes state-of-the-art drones.

In this work, we propose that Proof-of-Alibi (PoA) protocols should serve as the basis for enforcing drone privacy compliance. We design and implement AliDrone, a trustworthy PoA protocol that enables individual drones to prove their compliance with NFZs to a third party Auditor. AliDrone leverages trusted hardware to produce cryptographically-signed GPS readings within a secure enclave, preventing malicious drone operators from being able to forge geo-location information. AliDrone features an adaptive sampling algorithm that reacts to NFZ proximity in order to minimize the processing cost. Through laboratory benchmarks and field studies, we demonstrate that AliDrone provides strong assurance of geo-location while im-posing an average of 1.5% overhead on CPU utilization and 0.3% of memory consumption. AliDrone thus enables the further proliferation of drone technology through the introduction of a trustworthy and accountable compliance mechanism.

Related Videos

Related Impact Areas

Copyright Notice

This material is presented to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by authors or by other copyright holders. All persons copying this information are expected to adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. In most cases, these works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.

  1. The following copyright notice applies to all of the above items that appear in IEEE publications: "Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/publish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from IEEE."

  2. The following copyright notice applies to all of the above items that appear in ACM publications: "© ACM, effective the year of publication shown in the bibliographic information. This file is the authorís version of the work. It is posted here by permission of ACM for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in the journal or proceedings indicated in the bibliographic data for each item."

  3. The following copyright notice applies to all of the above items that appear in IFAC publications: "Document is being reproduced under permission of the Copyright Holder. Use or reproduction of the Document is for informational or personal use only."