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Sensible Privacy: How We Can Protect Domestic Violence Survivors Without Facilitating Misuse

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Leonardus Arief, Dr Kovila Coopamootoo, Dr Martin Emms, Professor Aad van Moorsel


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Privacy is a concept with real life ties and implications. Privacy infringement has the potential to lead to serious consequences for the stakeholders involved, hence researchers and organisations have developed various privacy enhancing techniques and tools. However, there is no solution that fits all, and there are instances where privacy solutions could be misused, for example to hide nefarious activities. Therefore, it is important to provide suitable measures and to make necessary design tradeoffs in order to avoid such misuse. This short paper aims to make a case for the need of careful consideration when designing a privacy solution, such that the design effectively addresses the user requirements while at the same time minimises the risk of inadvertently assisting potential offenders. In other words, this paper strives to promote “sensible privacy” design, which deals with the complex challenges in balancing privacy, usability and accountability. We illustrate this idea through a case study involving the design of privacy solutions for domestic violence survivors. This is the main contribution of the paper. The case study presents specific user requirements and operating conditions, which coupled with the attacker model, provide a complex yet interesting scenario to explore. One example of our solutions is described in detail to demonstrate the feasibility of our approach.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Arief B, Coopamootoo KPL, Emms M, van Moorsel A

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Workshop on Privacy in the Electronic Society (WPES'14)

Year of Conference: 2014

Pages: 201-204

ISSN: 9781450331487


DOI: 10.1145/2665943.2665965