ETH Zurich :
Computer Science :
Pervasive Computing :
Distributed Systems :
Dagstuhl Ubicomp - Abstract
Addressing the Location in Spontaneous Networks enabling Privacy and
In the initial stages of data processing, protection of the private sphere
was guaranteed by data protection based on centralized data processing.
Through the creation of the Internet and the increasing networking of the
computer, particularly between enterprises, new security problems arose
which are solved by copying the old model of the firewall and strengthening
authentification (PKI). These mechanisms, i.e. firewalls and PKI, are
reaching their limits through the trend of spontaneous networking and the
miniaturizing of intelligent end devices, together with the mobility of the
user and end devices.
Increasingly smaller mobile and stationary devices are spontaneously
networking with one another. With each transaction, data tracks are left
which ultimately enable a linkage of a clearly identified device to a place
and time and the relating to an individual. In such an environment,
security, particularly the privacy of the user, is up for consideration:
data accumulates on a massive scale over which the user has hardly any more
control with regard to collection, access, alteration and distribution.
As a result, many experts proclaim the end of privacy through ubiquitous
computing. They prophecy the omnipresence of computers, similar to the
invisible presence of everyday electric motors.
The following problems arise:
Which models and abstraction processes can enable security in an
environment in which devices network spontaneously with one another, i.e.
without direct administrative intervention?
Mechanisms (like cryptography) are often no longer possible, as there is no
more room on the chip for these functions due to miniaturization of the
devices. Can privacy still be nevertheless protected? If yes, with which
In this paper, we propose a new device addressing which keeps the data
track to a minimum: merely the location is used for addressing a device in
spontaneous networking (e.g. in a radio-based network). For the analysis of
this new way of addressing, we have produced the concept for a prototype as
proof of feasibility. The theoretical analysis is based on a hybrid process
which contains the element of qualitative and quantitive argumentation.
See also the corresponding position paper.