Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Keeping your digital secrets safe: Researchers develop security application to keep private data private

Date:
January 18, 2011
Source:
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Summary:
Researchers have developed a GPS application, Locacino, based on better security design. It provides users with a higher degree of control over their privacy settings, as well as a glimpse into how people really share information between friends over the Internet.

Privacy in the digital age is a sensitive issue for both governments and individuals, as recent news about WikiLeaks and Facebook proved. A new research project at Tel Aviv University may better educate citizens of the virtual world about their privacy -- and even help Facebook users avoid truly embarrassing moments.

It's all about fine-tuning privacy settings based on user information and behavior, says Dr. Eran Toch of Tel Aviv University's Iby and Aladar Fleischman Faculty of Engineering. His software solution, Locacino, is based on better security design, and provides users with a higher degree of control over their privacy settings. It also provides a glimpse into how people really share information between friends over the Internet.

Facebook's privacy settings -- or the lack thereof -- can cost us relationships or a future job. But knowing how to fine-tune our settings can save a lot of future heartache, says Dr. Toch, whose research was recently presented at Ubicomp, a leading conference on mobile computing.

Guarding your "centers of privacy"

Dr. Toch's research began at Carnegie Mellon University in the U.S. and continues in Tel Aviv. In collaboration with Prof. Norman Sadeh, Prof. Lorrie Cranor, and Prof. Jason Hong, all from Carnegie Mellon University, School of Computer Science, he created Locacino, a location-sharing application that can capture end-user security and privacy preferences in mobile computing.

In most social applications, it's not easy to fine-tune privacy settings. Like FourSquare and Facebook "Places," Locacino allows its users to track their friends' physical location, but in Locacino, users can also see who is viewing their profiles and location updates, which may lead users to rethink and modify their privacy settings.

At Carnegie Mellon, he and his team conducted large experiments using the Locacino application that was downloaded to users' iPhones and Android phones. The unique mobile social network allows people to fine-tune the way they want their information about them to be presented online. Thousands of college students participated in the study.

Dr. Toch examined what kinds of location updates users are more likely to share, then determined the users' "centers of privacy." It turned out that young people guard locations that might reveal information about their social life more than anything else, even the location of their homes or dormitories.

Locacino's flexibility allows users to let their work colleagues know their physical location on weekdays, but not on weekends. "If a friend tags you on an iPhone when you're at a pub instead of at work, you have no control over work colleagues seeing that on Facebook. But if we give users more flexible privacy settings, they're actually willing to share even more information online," Dr. Toch reports.

A difference of culture

There are cultural differences in attitudes towards online privacy as well. Next, Prof. Toch will investigate online privacy among the Israeli Arab population, and he's already discovered differences between Americans and Israelis. Israelis, for instance, would never dream of blocking their parents from Facebook, but it's common in the United States -- especially when the kids are teenagers, he says.

When Locacino completes the development stage, Prof. Toch hopes that when it's widely available, it will allow users to rethink security and privacy in the digital world -- and give them the tools to better control it.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Friends of Tel Aviv University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Friends of Tel Aviv University. "Keeping your digital secrets safe: Researchers develop security application to keep private data private." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110118113449.htm>.
American Friends of Tel Aviv University. (2011, January 18). Keeping your digital secrets safe: Researchers develop security application to keep private data private. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110118113449.htm
American Friends of Tel Aviv University. "Keeping your digital secrets safe: Researchers develop security application to keep private data private." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110118113449.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
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