Protection of Privacy on the Web

Protection of Privacy on the Web

Thomas M. Chen (Swansea University, UK) and Zhi (Judy) Fu (Motorola Labs, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-196-4.ch002
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Most people are concerned about online privacy but may not be aware of the various ways that their personal information is collected during routine Web browsing. We review the types of personal information that may be collected voluntarily or involuntarily through the Web browser or disclosed by a Web server. We present a taxonomy of regulatory and technological approaches to protect privacy. All approaches to date have only been partial solutions. By its nature, the Web was designed to be an open system to facilitate data sharing, and hence Web privacy continues to be a challenging problem.
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Types Of Private Information

Clearly there are different types of personal information, with varying degrees of sensitivity. As shown in Figure 1, personal information on the Web might be classified into three types (Rezgui, Bouguettaya, and Eltoweissy, 2003):

  • personal data such as name, address, and history;

  • surfing behavior consisting of visited sites, online transactions, and searches;

  • communications such as bulletin boards, messages, and feedback forms.

    Figure 1.

    Types of personal information on the Web


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