Visible to the public Biblio

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2017-08-01
Daniel M. Best, Jaspreet Bhatia, Elena Peterson, Travis Breaux.  2017.  Improved cyber threat indicator sharing by scoring privacy risk. 2017 IEEE International Symposium on Technologies for Homeland Security (HST).

Information security can benefit from real-time cyber threat indicator sharing, in which companies and government agencies share their knowledge of emerging cyberattacks to benefit their sector and society at large. As attacks become increasingly sophisticated by exploiting behavioral dimensions of human computer operators, there is an increased risk to systems that store personal information. In addition, risk increases as individuals blur the boundaries between workplace and home computing (e.g., using workplace computers for personal reasons). This paper describes an architecture to leverage individual perceptions of privacy risk to compute privacy risk scores over cyber threat indicator data. Unlike security risk, which is a risk to a particular system, privacy risk concerns an individual's personal information being accessed and exploited. The architecture integrates tools to extract information entities from textual threat reports expressed in the STIX format and privacy risk estimates computed using factorial vignettes to survey individual risk perceptions. The architecture aims to optimize for scalability and adaptability to achieve real-time risk scoring.

2017-01-05
Jaspreet Bhatia, Travis Breaux, Joel Reidenberg, Thomas Norton.  2016.  A Theory of Vagueness and Privacy Risk Perception. 2016 IEEE 24th International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE).

Ambiguity arises in requirements when astatement is unintentionally or otherwise incomplete, missing information, or when a word or phrase has morethan one possible meaning. For web-based and mobileinformation systems, ambiguity, and vagueness inparticular, undermines the ability of organizations to aligntheir privacy policies with their data practices, which canconfuse or mislead users thus leading to an increase inprivacy risk. In this paper, we introduce a theory ofvagueness for privacy policy statements based on ataxonomy of vague terms derived from an empiricalcontent analysis of 15 privacy policies. The taxonomy wasevaluated in a paired comparison experiment and resultswere analyzed using the Bradley-Terry model to yield arank order of vague terms in both isolation andcomposition. The theory predicts how vague modifiers toinformation actions and information types can becomposed to increase or decrease overall vagueness. Wefurther provide empirical evidence based on factorialvignette surveys to show how increases in vagueness willdecrease users' acceptance of privacy risk and thusdecrease users' willingness to share personal information.

2016-06-17
Ozgur Kafali, Nirav Ajmeri, Munindar P. Singh.  2016.  Revani: Revising and Verifying Normative Specifications for Privacy. IEEE Intelligent Systems.

Privacy remains a major challenge today partly because it brings together social and technical considerations. Yet, current software engineering focuses only on the technical aspects. In contrast, our approach, Revani, understands privacy from the standpoint of sociotechnical systems (STSs), with particular attention on the social elements of STSs. We specify STSs via a combination of technical mechanisms and social norms founded on accountability.

Revani provides a way to formally represent mechanisms and norms, and applies model checking to verify whether specified mechanisms and norms would satisfy the requirements of the stakeholders. Additionally, Revani provides a set of design patterns and a revision tool to update an STS specification as necessary. We demonstrate the working of Revani on a healthcare emergency use case pertaining to disasters.

2016-02-15
Waqar Ahmad, Joshua Sunshine, Christian Kästner, Adam Wynne.  2015.  Enforcing Fine-Grained Security and Privacy Policies in an Ecosystem within an Ecosystem. Systems, Programming, Languages and Applications: Software for Humanity (SPLASH).

Smart home automation and IoT promise to bring many advantages but they also expose their users to certain security and privacy vulnerabilities. For example, leaking the information about the absence of a person from home or the medicine somebody is taking may have serious security and privacy consequences for home users and potential legal implications for providers of home automation and IoT platforms. We envision that a new ecosystem within an existing smartphone ecosystem will be a suitable platform for distribution of apps for smart home and IoT devices. Android is increasingly becoming a popular platform for smart home and IoT devices and applications. Built-in security mechanisms in ecosystems such as Android have limitations that can be exploited by malicious apps to leak users' sensitive data to unintended recipients. For instance, Android enforces that an app requires the Internet permission in order to access a web server but it does not control which servers the app talks to or what data it shares with other apps. Therefore, sub-ecosystems that enforce additional fine-grained custom policies on top of existing policies of the smartphone ecosystems are necessary for smart home or IoT platforms. To this end, we have built a tool that enforces additional policies on inter-app interactions and permissions of Android apps. We have done preliminary testing of our tool on three proprietary apps developed by a future provider of a home automation platform. Our initial evaluation demonstrates that it is possible to develop mechanisms that allow definition and enforcement of custom security policies appropriate for ecosystems of the like smart home automation and IoT.