Analysis and Design of Privacy-Enhancing Information Sharing Systems

Interdisciplinary Research Group in Socio-technical Cybersecurity

Analysis and Design of Privacy-Enhancing Information Sharing Systems

Symeonidis Iraklis
Abstract:
Recent technological advancements have enabled the collection of large amounts of personal data of individuals at an ever-increasing rate. Service providers, organisations and governments can collect or otherwise acquire rich information about individuals' everyday lives and habits from big data-silos, enabling profiling and micro-targeting such as in political elections. Therefore, it is important to analyse systems that allow the collection and information sharing between users and to design secure and privacy enhancing solutions. This thesis contains two parts. The aim of the first part is to investigate in detail the effects of the collateral information collection of third-party applications on Facebook. The aim of the second part is to analyse in detail the security and privacy issues of car sharing systems and to design a secure and privacy-preserving solution. In the first part, we present a detailed multi-faceted study on the collateral information collection privacy issues of Facebook applications; providers of third-party applications on Facebook exploit the interdependency between users and their friends. The goal is to (i) study the existence of the problem, (ii) investigate whether Facebook users are concerned about the issue, quantify its (iii) likelihood and (iv) impact of collateral information collection affecting users, (v) identify whether collateral information collection is an issue for the protection of the personal data of Facebook users under the legal framework, and (vi) we propose solutions that aim to solve the problem of collateral information collection. In order to investigate the views of the users, we designed a questionnaire and collected the responses of participants. Employing real data from the Facebook third-party applications ecosystem, we compute the likelihood of collateral information collection affecting users and quantify its significance evaluating the amount of attributes collected by such applications. To investigate whether collateral information collection is an issue in terms of users' privacy we analysed the legal framework in light of the General Data Protection Regulation. To provide countermeasures, we propose a privacy dashboard extension that implements privacy scoring computations to enhance transparency towards collateral information collection. In the second part, we investigate physical-keyless car sharing systems that allow users to share their cars with other users without the need to exchange physical keys. The goal is to (i) elicit the security and privacy requirements, and (ii) design a secure and privacy-enhancing protocol for car access provision. First, we propose a novel physical-keyless car sharing system. We then provide comprehensive security and privacy analysis and elicit the requirements for a secure and privacy-enhancing system. Finally, we design a secure and privacy-enhancing protocol for car access provision, named SePCAR. The protocol is fully decentralised and allows users to share their cars conveniently without sacrificing their security and privacy. It provides generation, update, revocation, and distribution mechanisms for access tokens to shared cars, as well as procedures to solve disputes and to deal with law enforcement requests, for instance in the case of car incidents. Owing to the massive amounts of personal information handled by social networks such as Facebook and by car sharing systems, privacy plays a central role to the users of such systems. In this thesis, we provide a comprehensive analysis of the privacy issues for these applications and provide solutions based on transparency and privacy-enhancing technologies.
Authors:
Symeonidis Iraklis
Publication date:
May, 2018
Published in:
Doctoral thesis (2018)
Reference:
Symeonidis, I. (2018). Analysis and Design of Privacy-Enhancing Information Sharing Systems.

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