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Dagstuhl Ubicomp - Abstract

Privacy in Ubiquitous Computing

Marc Langheinrich, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Privacy in Ubiquitous Computing is like the weather: Everybody's talking about it, but no one is doing anything about it. In this talk I try to give ten (good) reasons why it is a good idea to care about privacy in ubiquitous computing; five reasons why privacy in ubiquitous computing is different from privacy on, say, the Internet; as well as ten things to ask yourself when it comes to building privacy-aware ubiquitous computing systems. Below are the corresponding lists.

Why bother with privacy?

  1. It's a human right
  2. It's a legal requirement
  3. Privacy sells
  4. Privacy costs money
  5. Ignoring privacy costs more money
  6. Privacy is not just Anonymity
  7. Privacy is not just Security
  8. There are no 100% guarantees
  9. Privacy requires trust
  10. Privacy is always a trade-off

Privacy To-do-List

  1. How much data do I need to collect?
  2. How much anonymous or pseudonymous data can I use?
  3. Give notice!
  4. Offer the user a choice
  5. Get the user's consent
  6. Provide security for any personal data collected
  7. Delete unwanted personal data ASAP
  8. Provide user access
  9. Be accountable
  10. Collect and process data locally


What's special about Privacy in Ubiquitous Computing?

  1. It's inhomogeneous
  2. It's invisible
  3. It's comprehensive
  4. It's smart
  5. Nobody's paying attention

See also the corresponding Ubicomp 2001 Paper.


ETH ZurichDistributed Systems Group
Last updated July 7 2005 04:32:10 PM MET ml