Privacy Threats in Emerging Ubicomp Applications: Analysis and Safeguarding
Elena Vildjiounaite (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Finland), Tapani Rantakokko (Finwe LTD, Finland), Petteri Alahuhta (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Finland), Pasi Ahonen (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Finland), David Wright (Trilateral Research and Consulting, UK) and Michael Friedwwald (Fraunhofer Institute Systems and Innovation Research, Germany)
Copyright: © 2008
Realisation of the Ubicomp vision in the real world creates significant threats to personal privacy due to constant information collection by numerous tiny sensors, active information exchange over short and long distances, long-term storage of large quantities of data, and reasoning based on collected and stored data. An analysis of more than 100 Ubicomp scenarios, however, shows that applications are often proposed without considering privacy issues, whereas existing privacyenhancing technologies mainly have been developed for networked applications and, thus, are not always applicable to emerging applications for smart spaces and personal devices, especially because the users and their data are not spatially separated in such applications. A partial solution to the problem of users’ privacy protection could be to allow users to control how their personal data can be used. The authors’ experience with mobile phone data collection, nevertheless, suggests that when users give their consent for the data collection, they don’t fully understand the possible privacy implications. Thus, application developers should pay attention to privacy protection; otherwise, such problems could result in users not accepting Ubicomp applications. This chapter suggests guidelines for estimating threats to privacy, depending on real world application settings and the choice of technology; and guidelines for the choice and development of technological safeguards against privacy threats.