A Framework for Protecting Voters’ Privacy In Electronic Voting Procedures

C. Manolopoulos (Computer Technology Institute and Press “DIOPHANTUS”, University of Patras, Patras, Greece), D. Sofotassios (Computer Technology Institute and Press “DIOPHANTUS”, University of Patras, Patras, Greece), P. Spirakis (Computer Technology Institute and Press “DIOPHANTUS”, Computer Engineering and Informatics Department, University of Patras, Patras, Greece), and Y.C. Stamatiou (Computer Technology Institute and Press “DIOPHANTUS”, Business Administration Department, University of Patras, Patras, Greece)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 33
EISBN13: 9781466658943|DOI: 10.4018/jcit.2013040101
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eVoting is considered to be one of the most challenging domains of modern eGovernment and one of the main vehicles for increasing eParticipation among citizens. One of the main obstacles for its wide adoptionis the reluctance of citizens to participate in electronic voting procedures. This reluctance can be partially attributed to the low penetration of technology among citizens. However, the main reason behind this reluctance is the lack of trust which stems from the belief of citizens that systems implementing an eVoting process will violate their privacy. The departure point of this approach is that the emergence of such a belief can be considerably facilitated by designing and building systems in a way that evidence about the system’s properties is produced during the design process. In this way, the designers can demonstrate the respect in privacy using this evidence that can be understood and checked by the specialist and the informed layman. These tools and models should provide sufficient evidence that the target system handles privacy concerns and requirements that can remove enough of the fears towards eVoting. This paper presents the efforts of the authors‘ organization, the Computer Technology Institute and Press “Diophantus” (CTI), towards the design and implementation of an eVoting system, called PNYKA, with demonstrable security properties. This system was based on a trust-centered engineering approach for building general security critical systems. The authors‘ approach is pragmatic rather than theoretical in that it sidesteps the controversy that besets the nature of trust in information systems and starts with a working definition of trust as people’s positive attitude towards a system that transparently and demonstrably performs its operations, respecting their privacy. The authors also discuss the social side of eVoting, i.e. how one can help boost its acceptance by large social groups targeting the whole population of the country. The authors view eVoting as an innovation that must be diffused to a population and then employ a theoretical model that studies diffusion of innovation in social network, delineating structural properties of the network that help diffuse the innovation fast. Furthermore, the authors explain how CTI’s current situation empowers CTI to realize its vision to implement a privacy preserving, discussion and public consultation forum in Greece. This forum will link, together, all Greek educational institutes in order to provide a privacy preserving discussion and opinion gathering tool useful in decision making within the Greek educational system.
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