ECE Colloquium with Ton Kalker

4:00 pm on Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Photonics Center, 8 Saint Mary’s St., Room 211
Security of Biometric Systems With Ton Kalker, DTS IEEE Signal Processing Society 2012-13 Distinguished Lecturer Refreshments will be served outside Room 339 at 3:45 p.m. Faculty Host: Janusz Konrad Abstract: The issue of privacy, and the protection of private data in general, is gaining increased attention. The recent revelations around the extent of the NSA monitoring program are a stark reminder that privacy is not easily achieved. On the other hand, our willingness to share personal data on social networks seems to have few boundaries. However, most people like to be in control of what private data is shared and what is not. The traditional approach to privacy and security of personal data is based on cryptographic methods and authentication by username and password. This ‘security by what we know’ worked fine in the early days of the Internet, but as we move to more and more services in the cloud, the proliferation of usernames and passwords is making this approach impractical and even counter productive. Improvements by using single sign-on (reducing password proliferation) and two-factor authentication (‘security by what we have’) help but do not resolve the fundamental issue. Biometrics (‘security by who we are’) has long been considered the ultimate form of authentication. But biometrics has its own problems, of which issues around reliability are best known. In this talk, we consider another often ignored aspect related to biometric security: the absence of renewability. If a password is stolen, we can always recover by choosing a new password; if our biometric data are compromised, such recovery is not possible. In this talk, we present in more detail the problem of security of biometric templates and approaches to resolving these problems. We will also touch upon the relation between biometrics and robust media hashing. This talk is in large part based on the work of Tanya Ignatenko and Frans Willems of TUE (Netherlands), whom I was fortunate to work with as an advisor. About the Speaker: Ton Kalker received both his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in mathematics from the University of Leiden, The Netherlands, in 1979 and 1983, respectively. He has made significant contributions to the field of media security, in particular digital watermarking, robust media identification and interoperability of Digital Rights Managements systems. His research in this growing field started in 1996, submitting and participating in the standardization of video watermarking for DVD copy protection. His solution was accepted as the core technology for the proposed DVD copy protection standard and earned him the title of Fellow of the IEEE (2002). His subsequent research focused on robust media identification, where he laid the foundation of the Content Identification business unit of Philips Electronics (currently Civolution), successful in commercializing watermarking and other identification technologies. Dr. Kalker is co-author on 40+ granted patents and 40+ patent applications. Dr. Kalker is currently VP of Security and DRM at DTS. Prior to that he was VP of Technology for the Innovation Center of Huawei in Santa Clara, responsible for driving the media research program, focusing on real-time communication, media technologies for future Internet architectures, and HMI. Prior to Huawei, as a Distinguished Technologist at Hewlett-Packard Labs, he focused his research on the problem of non-interoperability of DRM systems. He was one of the three lead architects of Coral, publishing a standard framework for DRM interoperability in the summer of 2007. Subsequently, he co-chaired the Technical Working Group of DECE (, publicly known as UltraViolet ( He also actively participates in the academic community. Dr. Kalker is Co-Founder, IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics (2005); Co-Founder and Chair, Information Forensics and Security Technical Committee (2006-2007); Guest Editor, IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing Supplement on Secure Media; Associate Editor, IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security (2005-Present); Associate Editor, IEEE Transactions on Multimedia (2004-2005) (2011-Present); Associate Editor, IEEE Transactions on Image Processing (2011-Present); Associate Editor, IEEE Signal Processing Letters (2003-2004); Associate Member, Information Forensics and Security Technical Committee; Member, Image and Multidimensional Signal Processing Technical Committee (2000-2005); Member, Image, Video, and Multidimensional Signal Processing Technical Committee (2011-Present); Member, Signal Processing Fellow Evaluation Committee (2009-2011); Technical Program Chair, the first Workshop on Information Forensics and Security (WIFS-09 in London); Tutorial Co-Chair, ICME (2010); and Tutorial Co-Chair, ICIP (2011). Dr Kalker was part-time faculty at the University of Eindhoven, the Netherlands (1998-2004). Dr. Kalker has worked on a wide variety of topics related to media security, carefully balancing theoretical and practical aspects. Of particular importance are Ton's contributions on the following: real-time video watermarking technologies on constrained platforms for active copyright enforcement; assessing the security of watermarking technologies, including secure watermark detection; watermarking for traitor tracing and forensics; secure signal processing (processing in the encrypted domain); limits and methods for reversible watermarking; robust hashing of audio, with an emphasis on efficient search strategies; semantic compression (compressed representations that maintain semantic significance); secure biometrics; and interoperability of Digital Rights Management, based upon his work in Coral and DECE.