Privacy vs. Profiling on the Internet

Csaba Kiraly
Department of Information and Communication Technologies, University of Trento, Italy

Ladda ner artikelhttp://www.ep.liu.se/ecp_article/index.en.aspx?issue=025;article=033

Ingår i: Inter: A European Cultural Studies : Conference in Sweden 11-13 June 2007

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 25:33, s. 311-316

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Publicerad: 2007-11-27


ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


It is just getting common knowledge that private data entered on web pages is not safe at all. What is less known is that on the Internet; even if using encryption; simply by communicating; the communication pattern (services we connect to; amount and timing of communication) reveals a lot about ourselves. Attackers; or even the Internet Service Provider itself can use Statistical Traffic Analysis tech­niques to gather information; to profile users for marketing or for other (even ma­licious) reasons.

To face this threat; privacy preserving technologies have been developed since the early eighties; providing anonymous communications and masquerading traffic patterns.

Are the privacy enhancing technologies ready to be used by the masses?

Is it legal to use such technologies in a world where strong encryption was banned for private use even some years ago? Where retention of communication data (for several years) is gaining ground in legislation?

Are we becoming safer or more of a suspect by using such technologies?


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