Sky Systems Seminar: Malte Schwarzkopf (Brown) – Privacy-Compliant Storage For Web Applications By Construction

Speaker: Malte Schwarzkopf
Location: Soda 510
Date: November 9, 2023
Time: 11am-12pm PST

Privacy-Compliant Storage For Web Applications By Construction

Data privacy laws like the EU’s GDPR grant users new rights, such as the right to request access to and deletion of their data. Manual compliance with these requests is error-prone and imposes costly burdens especially on smaller organizations, as non-compliance risks steep fines.

This calls for new systems abstractions that help developers achieve compliance with privacy regulations, and this talk will discuss our work in this direction. K9db is a new, MySQL-compatible database that complies with privacy laws by construction. The key idea in K9db is to make the data ownership and sharing semantics explicit in the storage system. This requires K9db to capture and enforce applications’ complex data ownership and sharing semantics, but in exchange simplifies privacy compliance. Using a small set of schema annotations, K9db infers storage organization, generates procedures for data retrieval and deletion, and reports compliance errors if an application risks violating the GDPR.

Our K9db prototype successfully expresses the data sharing semantics of real web applications, and guides developers to getting privacy compliance right. K9db also matches or exceeds the performance of existing storage systems, at the cost of a modest increase in state size.

Malte Schwarzkopf is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Brown University, where he leads the ETOS group. Malte’s research is on new abstractions that deliver efficient, easy-to-use, and trustworthy computer systems. Recent projects include systems to make web services privacy-compliant by construction, high-performance remote memory, and soft memory, a new form of revocable memory. Malte is a recipient of the NSF CAREER award, a Google Research Scholar Award, Brown University’s Henry Merritt Wriston Fellowship and Richard B. Salomon Award, and a class of 2023 Barrett Hazeltine Citation for Excellence in Teaching, Guidance, and Support. His past research received best paper awards at NSDI and EuroSys, as well as the EuroSys 2023 Test of Time Award. Prior to Brown, Malte was a postdoc with MIT’s PDOS group and completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge. He is still getting used to living in a city not called Cambridge.