Enabling Proxy-free Privacy-preserving and Federated Crowdsourcing by Using Blockchain

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

2 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6624-6636
Journal / PublicationIEEE Internet of Things Journal
Issue number8
Online published13 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2021


With the rapid development and widespread application of crowdsourcing, the limitations of traditional systems are gradually exposed. First, traditional systems fail to protect the privacy of task requesters and workers. They typically rely on a centralized server to aggregate task content and workers’ interests, while these data contain sensitive information. Second, crowdsourcing resources in each system are isolated. The tasks in one system cannot reach potential workers in other systems. Thus, there is a great need to build a new privacy-preserving and federated crowdsourcing system. However, existing privacy-preserving solutions rely on a trusted third-party to perform key management, which is not applicable in a federated setting.

To this end, we propose the first proxy-free privacy-preserving and federated crowdsourcing system. It interconnects existing crowdsourcing systems and can perform encrypted task-matching across various systems without relying on a trusted third-party authority. Our main idea is to achieve federated crowdsourcing by moving secure task-matching to the trusted smart contract. To get rid of the dependence on trusted authority, we combine the re-writable deterministic hashing technique with searchable encryption schemes to achieve secure on-chain task-matching authorization. Moreover, we utilize the puncturable encryption technique to implement secure authorization revocation. We formally analyze the security of our design and implement a prototype on Ethereum. Evaluation results demonstrate that our design is secure and efficient for blockchain-based crowdsourcing.

Research Area(s)

  • Authorization, Blockchain, Blockchain., Crowdsourcing, Cryptography, Encryption, Federated crowdsourcing, Privacy, Puncturable encryption, Re-writable deterministic hashing, Searchable encryption, Task analysis