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TCS, Stanford in pact for data security research

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Mr S. Ramadorai (left), CEO & MD, TCS; and Prof. Mathai Joseph, Excutive Vice-President & Head of Tata Research Development and Design Centre, at a press conference held in Mumbai on Monday. - - Paul Noronha

Mumbai , Feb. 13

TATA Consultancy Services has signed a five-year agreement with Stanford University, the US, for research in data privacy. The company will be investing $1 million in this research collaboration, said Mr S. Ramadorai, Managing Director and CEO, TCS, at a news conference.

As part of this collaboration, TCS will also become an industrial partner on data privacy in the new Team for Research in Uniquitous Secure Technology (TRUST). The company will also be member of the Stanford Computer Forum: Industry Affiliates Program.

TRUST is a multi-university and multi-industry initiative that includes UC Berkeley, Cornell University and Carnegie Mellon University, Cisco Systems, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Sun and Symantec.

The computer science department at Stanford will work on joint projects with the Tata Research Development and Design Centre (TRDDC), TCS' Pune-based software engineering research centre.

A number of TCS customers have expressed the need for data privacy tools and this collaboration with Stanford will help TCS provide leading edge data-masking tools for clients to securely transmit data, said Mr Ramadorai.

TCS already has a data-masking tool in Masketeer, released in October last year.

Typically, any patents developed as a result of the collaboration will be the property of the universities, said Mr Mathai Joseph, Head of TRDDC. However, the partners can always discuss the terms of use of these patents. Since the work is that of a consortium, it will be accessible to everybody to develop on, he added. TCS has an important role in the scheme, as it has access to large volumes of data. "When a new product has to be tested in a practical domain, TCS will be able to do it. Sometimes, a product works well in the laboratory but when scaled up may function very differently," said Mr Joseph. TCS is the only Indian company to have collaborated with Stanford University, he added.

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