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Experience Report: How to Design Web-Based Competitions for Legal Proceedings: Lessons from a Court Case

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Matthew ForshawORCiD


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In this practical experience report we discuss a court case in which one of the authors was expert witness. This UK civil case considered possible fraud in an online product promotion competition, with participants being denied prizes because they were considered to have cheated. The discussion in this paper aims to provide a practice-led perspective on the link between technology and legal issues in the design of online games and web applications. The paper presents the court's questions and the witness responses, and also provides a synopsis of analysis of data in the web server log file presented to court. Based on the insights gained, we present guidelines for the design of online competitions and for client-server web applications implementing it. As we will see, the case turned out to be about design of socio-technical systems, not about advanced technologies. It illustrates the need to identify practically relevant threat models and pragmatic security solutions that balance business, legal and usability concerns.

Publication metadata

Author(s): van-Moorsel A, Forshaw M, Rocha F

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 28th International Symposium on Software Reliability Engineering (ISSRE)

Year of Conference: 2017

Online publication date: 16/11/2017

Acceptance date: 26/07/2017

ISSN: 2332-6549

Publisher: IEEE


DOI: 10.1109/ISSRE.2017.41

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9781538609422