USF CSE researchers unveil an unforgeable alibi app on Fox News

Friday, February 10, 2023

Researchers at the University of South Florida, Dr. Sriram Chellappan from USF CSE and Dr. Balaji Padmanabhan from the Muma College of Business, are making headlines with their innovative smartphone app: “Here I Am.” The app uses a combination of GPS, voice recognition, and other technologies, and is designed to prove a user’s whereabouts at a specific time,  creating an unforgeable alibi.


“They push the button, they read out the sentence, the device records the location, the voice, and compares it,” said Dr. Chellappan in an interview with FOX News.

The app's potential uses are myriad, as it could be used by parents to help ensure their children’s safety and autonomy, help prevent election fraud, protect victims of domestic abuse, offer rideshare protection, and even help prevent cheating on college tests. As cyber security is a constantly developing field, this app stands to supplement device based two factor authentication. 

“As people become sophisticated, they may find ways to evade device based authentication,” said Dr. Balaji Padmanabhan. “And so user based authentication becomes critical.”

Overall, the app is expected to have a positive impact on the legal system and personal security. The researchers are working to make the app completely reliable and available to the public. “Privacy is such an important thing, so technologies like this have to be deployed properly,” said Dr. Balaji Padmanabhan.