Privacy Compliance Requirements in Workflow Environments

Privacy Compliance Requirements in Workflow Environments

Maria N. Koukovini (National Technical University of Athens, Greece), Eugenia I. Papagiannakopoulou (National Technical University of Athens, Greece), Georgios V. Lioudakis (National Technical University of Athens, Greece), Nikolaos L. Dellas (SingularLogic S.A., Greece), Dimitra I. Kaklamani (National Technical University of Athens, Greece) and Iakovos S. Venieris (National Technical University of Athens, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6324-4.ch011
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Workflow management systems are used to run day-to-day applications in numerous domains, often including exchange and processing of sensitive data. Their native “leakage-proneness,” being the consequence of their distributed and collaborative nature, calls for sophisticated mechanisms able to guarantee proper enforcement of the necessary privacy protection measures. Motivated by the principles of Privacy by Design and its potential for workflow environments, this chapter investigates the associated issues, challenges, and requirements. With the legal and regulatory provisions regarding privacy in information systems as a baseline, the chapter elaborates on the challenges and derived requirements in the context of workflow environments, taking into account the particular needs and implications of the latter. Further, it highlights important aspects that need to be considered regarding, on the one hand, the incorporation of privacy-enhancing features in the workflow models themselves and, on the other, the evaluation of the latter against privacy provisions.
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In general terms, a workflow is a collection of tasks, i.e., well-specified steps to be completed by available resources towards performing a more complex operational procedure, along with their various interrelations, that denote the order in which tasks are executed and process the information exchanged among them, if any. A workflow is typically abstracted as a directed graph <T, E>, with the set of tasks T constituting its vertices and its edges E representing inter-task relations and associated parameters.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Binding of Duty (BoD): The requirement that an entity performing an action is bound to perform another action.

Privacy by Design: The concept whereby privacy compliance is designed into systems.

Workflow Perspectives: The different aspects from which a workflow can be viewed and that affect its execution.

Separation of Duty (SoD): The situation where two actions are mutually exclusive to be performed by the same entity.

Workflow Model: The conceptual representation of the structure of a workflow in terms of tasks, as well as control and data dependencies among tasks.

Privacy-Aware Access Control: The access control discipline devised for the protection of personal data.

Personal Data: Any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person.

Workflow Patterns: Abstractions of recurrent interaction forms that arise in workflow modeling.

Workflow: A well-defined sequence of tasks coordinated in order to achieve a business, scientific or engineering goal.

Privacy: The claim of individuals, groups, or institutions to determine for themselves when, how, and to what extent information about them is communicated to others.

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