Date of Award

Spring 2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical & Computer Engineering


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Committee Director

Chunsheng Xin

Committee Member

Hongyi Wu

Committee Member

Mohamed Azab

Committee Member

Sachin Shetty


Data is a fundamental building block in the digital world, providing a basis for decision making and growth across numerous applications. In our modern world, we have become accustomed to collecting data on everything, including devices, machines, and people. The increased value of such data has led to aggressive harvesting mechanisms that prioritize data collection, storage, and pervasiveness while often disregarding security, privacy concerns, and compliance with regulations and standards. Such a pervasive attitude towards data has resulted in a loss of control, prompting concerns among individuals and mobilizing the scientific community towards advocating for data self-sovereignty.

Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) emerges as a response, proposing a model where individuals, organizations, and devices manage their information without relying on third-party intermediaries. Leveraging blockchain, decentralized identifiers (DIDs), and verifiable credentials (VCs), SSI aims to restore privacy, security, and autonomy over personal data and identity credentials. It seeks to safeguard users from unauthorized access and misuse, fostering trust and transparency in digital interactions.

Although the SSI framework holds significant promise for revolutionizing data and identity management on the internet, being a relatively new concept, it faces several emerging limitations and challenges. One significant issue is the inadequacy of secure decentralized storage solutions that fully support data sovereignty. Additionally, there is a gap in the capability to verify governed data in a manner that preserves privacy. Another emerging concern is the vulnerability of SSI frameworks to the advanced computational powers of quantum computing. As quantum computing continues to evolve, its potential to break current encryption standards poses a significant threat to the security of SSI systems.

The research work presented in this dissertation advances a novel, productive approach to digital data and identity assets, emphasizing the preservation of integrity, security, privacy, and confidentiality. The first fold of this study presents a decentralized, proactively protected cloud storage framework that regulates secure storage solutions for issued VCs. The designed model supports zero-knowledge proof-enabled verification processes for the users’ decentralized-stored data and identity information. Meanwhile, the second fold of this study introduces an innovative lightweight post-quantum cryptographic signature scheme designed to protect VCs against prospective quantum computational threats.


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