The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced on Thursday that they are granting $1.1 million to two projects aimed at improving data privacy for the department.

“S&T is developing solutions to ensure the government end-user’s data privacy is protected and consistent with outlined laws, policies and mission,” said William N. Bryan, senior official performing the duties of the under secretary for Science and Technology.

S&T issued a $750,000 grant to the University of Colorado to develop DronePD, a drone detection system. DronePD aims to make detecting drones much more affordable and without the need for a dedicated radio frequency band, unlike some existing systems. “[Drones] – also known as Unmanned Aerial Systems, whether authorized or unauthorized, pose increasing threats to the protection of sensitive data and activities of individuals, businesses and authorities as these devices can be used to infringe on privacy and interests. Detecting the presence of these drones is the first crucial step towards protecting sensitive data and activities,” the department stated in a press release.

S&T also issued a $399,900 grant to Galois Inc to add on to the Department’s Framework for Information Disclosure with Ethical Security (FIDES). “The FIDES platform reduces risk for data providers by keeping non-anonymized data cryptographically secure for its entire lifetime, while also providing high utility for analyses that require direct access to sensitive details in the data,” the department said. “FIDURA extends FIDES to offer two novel, inter-related capabilities: support for data providers and data analysts to specify the risk profile of allowing access to shared data, and support for data users to specify the utility profiles from that data to produce useful analytic results.”

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