Centre of Excellence in Data Privacy, Security and Integrity

About the Centre

The University of Northern British Columbia and TeejLab Inc. have created a new Centre of Excellence in Data Privacy, Security and Integrity that will provide thought leadership, best practices, research support and training in the areas of Data Privacy, Security and Integrity. Through promotion of mutual interests in industry and academia the Centre will provide economical opportunities in B.C. and Western Canada.

The mission of the Centre is to enhance collaboration opportunities for the research community at UNBC and beyond. The Centre invites researchers at TeejLab and UNBC to work together and solve data privacy and security challenges while conducting applied research in the areas of Natural Language Processing, Data Mining and Machine Learning, with the goal to build commercial solutions that allow enterprises to create various data-driven software and services in a more secure and compliant way. As enterprises adopt various technologies to monetize their data, the value of data privacy and security solutions will become more important for their financial growth. TeejLab is at the forefront of applying research and technological solutions to solve the data privacy and security challenges. Therefore, the Centre will facilitate new collaborations with the UNBC research community and create job opportunities for the students at UNBC and beyond.

The TeejLab-UNBC Centre of Excellence team consists of award winning computer scientists, innovators, Ph.D. and MSc. degree students advised by software industry veterans and faculty members from premier institutes and universities in the United States and Canada. TeejLab will continue to have strong research collaborations with academic institutes through internship and co-op programs.

Initially, the Centre will be a virtual community that will provide a platform to build technologies and disseminate knowledge through research articles and blogs. This will help the Centre in speeding up the process of innovating technologies that have enterprise-grade support as well as for the Open Source communities for faster adoption and industry standardization.

Partnered Initiatives

The Centre of Excellence is guided by partnership principles to encourage a collaborative relationship between researchers and knowledge users for the purposes of creating state-of-the-art solutions that will help data privacy and security customers and partners in building world-class innovations without sacrificing the integrity, security and privacy of their data.

Further, capacity building for partnered research that will leave a legacy of capacity across the organizations, while creating a culture of learning, is at the core of the Centre’s mandate.

Key Projects

Our enterprise and personal worlds are proliferated with many innovative mobile/cloud/social applications that touch all aspects of our lives, be it in retail, banking, logistics, shopping, media and many others. These technological innovations may not have been possible without the availability of vast amounts of data that are being generated by enterprises as well as individuals in their daily lives. As data-driven intelligence continues to evolve, enterprise will find new ways to turn these data into knowledge that will improve our lives. TeejLab-UNBC CoE is helping enterprises in building world-class data-driven innovations without sacrificing the privacy, security and integrity of their data. To that end, CoE is conducting ground-breaking applied research in three main areas:

Data Privacy

In the midst of the technological revolution described above, enterprises are busy collecting personal information and location data (which could be just another form of personal information such as ones’ presence at a particular location) to offer value-added services. Regardless of what services are provided; organizations are legally obligated to protect the privacy of their users, if they are using any personal information. In this project, we are developing methodologies, techniques and processes to protect the privacy of personal information.

Data Integrity

Data is proved most valuable when it is collected and applied without losing its integral properties such as its origin context and timeline. Especially for enterprises, such meta-data from production and live systems (e.g., IoT devices) are critical for enhancing the production, products and performance for delivering superior experiences and innovations. Furthermore, in the century of Artificial Intelligence, when more and more business and personal decisions are based on data-model driven approaches, ensuring that those decisions are not biased is a key research challenge. In this project, we are developing technological solutions and data management processes that ensure data integrity.

Data Security

Threats to data security has escalated by many folds as the value of data has grown enormously in recent years. Incidents of Heartbleed in 2014 and more recently Equifax data breach in 2017 have highlighted the negative impact of data security on various businesses as well as personal data privacy and security. In general, data security refers to the protection of data against unauthorized data access and/or corruption of data. Data security is also necessary to ensure the integrity of data. In this project we are developing state of the art techniques and policies for data protection.

To learn more about how you can engage with the Centre, please contact Mark Barnes, Director of Research at mark.barnes@unbc.ca.

Contact information


Mark Barnes, Director of Research and Innovation


Punit Shah, Chief Technology Adviser