Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New System Preserves Right To Privacy In Internet Searches

Date:
November 6, 2009
Source:
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Summary:
A team of researchers in Spain has developed a protocol to distort the user profile generated by Internet search engines, in such a way that they cannot save the searches undertaken by Internet users and thus preserve their privacy.

A new system preserves the right to privacy in Internet searches.
Credit: iStockphoto/Dejan Ljami

A team of Catalan researchers has developed a protocol to distort the user profile generated by Internet search engines, in such a way that they cannot save the searches undertaken by Internet users and thus preserve their privacy.

The study has been published in the journal Computer Communications.

Just imagine someone from Company X who uses the Google search engine to obtain information about a certain technology. If Company Y, a competitor of X, should discover this situation, it could infer that the abovementioned technology is going to be used in X's new products, and with that information it could obtain a competitive edge. In the same way, a mass media enterprise that finds out the searches undertaken by the competition's journalists could infer what news items they are working on and beat them to it. A personal report could also be drawn up on someone based on their searches.

In order to solve these types of situations, a team of researchers from three Catalan universities (the Rovira i Virgili University, the Autónoma of Barcelona and the Oberta of Catalonia) has developed a system which preserves user privacy via a new computer protocol, whose details are published in the Computer Communications magazine.

"It is a model based on cryptographic tools which distort the profile of users when they use search engines on Internet," Alexandre Viejo said. He is one of the authors of the study and a researcher at the Computer Engineering Department of the Rovira i Virgili University, "in such a way that their privacy is preserved".

Search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Microsoft Live search save the profiles of their users (via an analysis of the searches they undertake) with the argument that they are more familiar with their interests and offer a more efficient response.

There currently exist types of software which provide anonymous navigation, such as the Tor network, but the new system "offers a clear improvement in response time." Nevertheless, Alexandre Viejo acknowledges that the application of the protocol delays searches slightly, "but it can be perfectly assumed by the user".

The tool prototype has already been tried in closed (research centre intranets) and open (internet) environments, "and the results allow us to be optimistic with the global implementation of the model." The researchers are now working on the development of a final user version and trust that it will soon be easily integrated into the main platforms and browsers.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jordi Castellà-Roca, Alexandre Viejo, Jordi Herrera-Joancomartí. Preserving user's privacy in web search engines. Computer Communications, 2009; 32 (13-14): 1541 DOI: 10.1016/j.comcom.2009.05.009

Cite This Page:

FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. "New System Preserves Right To Privacy In Internet Searches." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091105102729.htm>.
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. (2009, November 6). New System Preserves Right To Privacy In Internet Searches. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091105102729.htm
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. "New System Preserves Right To Privacy In Internet Searches." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091105102729.htm (accessed July 26, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites

Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites

AP (July 25, 2014) — Emory University's Center for Digital Scholarship has launched a self-guided mobile tour app to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War's Battle of Atlanta. (July 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

AFP (July 24, 2014) — Health and agriculture development are key if African countries are to overcome poverty and grow, US software billionaire Bill Gates said Thursday, as he received an honourary degree in Ethiopia. Duration: 00:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) — Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) — 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins