Omer F. Rana

Title GDPR-compliant Cloud Containers: Blockchains for Cloud Event Tracking

The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect in May 2018, and governs the storage and processing of personal user data that would allow an individual to be recognised. It also focuses on increasing awareness of how user data is subsequently analysed to derive insights (particuarly for marketing and profiling purposes), and the level of engagement a user should have in this process. Understanding how GDPR influences the processing of personal data also has a bearing on the use of Artificial Intelligence-based algorithms on such data. A key aim of this regulation is to increase accountability and transparency on how data "controllers" manage personal data. The major beneficiary is the individual, nevertheless GDPR is also applicable to businesses operating in a B2B context. This talk will describe how GDPR impacts data processors, particularly Cloud Service Providers who process personal data on behalf of data controllers. A comparison is provided about monitoring tools being used by current Cloud Service Providers to support GDPR -- such as AlientVault, Sumologic, Data Dog, AWS CoudTrail and Google Stackdriver. A data hosting environment that is able to record events on user data is proposed, enabling the recording of such events in a Blockchain for subsequent verification and auditing. We describe performance trade-offs in offering such a hosting environment for user applications. We also speculate on how GDPR applies to Internet of Things and emerging Edge computing environments.


Omer F. Rana is Professor of Performance Engineering at Cardiff University, with research interests in high performance distributed computing, data analysis/mining and multi-agent systems. He is also the Dean of International for the Physical Sciences and Engineering College at Cardiff University, responsible for establishing and supporting collaborative links between Cardiff University and other international institutions. He was formerly the deputy director of the Welsh eScience Centre and had the opportunity to interact with a number of computational scientists across Cardiff University and the UK. He is a fellow of Cardiff University's multi-disciplinary "Data Innovation" Research Institute. Rana has contributed to specification and standardisation activities via the Open Grid Forum and worked as a software developer with London-based Marshall Bio-Technology Limited prior to joining Cardiff University, where he developed specialist software to support biotech instrumentation. He contributed to public understanding of science, via the Wellcome Trust funded "Science Line", in collaboration with BBC and Channel 4. Rana holds a PhD in "Neural Computing and Parallel Architectures" from Imperial College (London Univ.), an MSc in Microelectronics (Univ. of Southampton) and a BEng in Information Systems Eng. from Imperial College (London Univ.). He serves on the editorial boards (as Associate Editor) of IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems, (formerly) IEEE Transactions on Cloud Computing, IEEE Cloud Computing magazine and ACM Transactions on Internet Technology. He is a founding-member and associate editor of ACM Transactions on Autonomous & Adaptive Systems.