Privacy in the Digital World

Privacy in the Digital World

Stefanos Gritzalis (University of the Aegean, Greece) and Costas Lambrinoudakis (University of the Aegean, Greece)
Copyright: © 2008 |Pages: 7
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-993-9.ch058


Recent years have witnessed a significant evolution in the way information and communication systems are utilized, transforming modern communities into modern information societies. Nowadays, personal data are available or/and can be collected at different sites around the world. Even though the utilization of personal information leads to several advantages, including improved customer services, increased revenues, and lower business costs, it can be misused in several ways and may lead to violation of privacy.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Pseudonymity: Being pseudonymous is the state of using a pseudonym as identification. Therefore, a user can be identified through their pseudonym but remains anonymous as far as their real identity is concerned. Clearly, it is assumed that each pseudonym refers to exactly one holder, invariant over time, being not transferred to other users.

Privacy: The right of individuals to control or influence what information related to them may be collected and stored, by whom, and to whom that information may be disclosed.

Unobesrvability: Ensures that a user may use a resource or service without others, especially third parties, being able to observe that the resource or service is being used. It requires that users cannot determine whether an operation is being performed.

Unlikability: Ensures that a user may make multiple uses of resources or services without others being able to link these uses together. It requires that users are unable to determine whether the same user caused certain specific operations in the system.

Anonymity: Anonymity is the state of being not identifiable within a set of subjects (users), known as the anonymity set. To enable anonymity of a subject (user), there always has to be an appropriate set of subjects with potentially the same attributes.

Digital Identity: Any subset of attributes of an individual which are accessible by technical means and identify this individual within any set of individuals. Usually there is no such thing as “a digital identity,” but several of them.

Data Security: The protection of data from disclosure, alteration, destruction, or loss that either is accidental or intentional but unauthorized.

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