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Privacy Enhanced Technologies: Methods, Markets, Misuse

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  • 004 Informatik
  • 330 Wirtschaft
  • Communication
  • Computer Science
  • Mathematics
  • Political Science


Privacy Enhanced Technologies: Methods – Markets – Misuse Hannes Federrath University of Regensburg Abstract. Research in Privacy Enhancing Technologies has a tradition of about 25 years. The basic technologies and ideas were found until 1995 while the last decade was dominated by the utilisation of such technolo- gies. The question arises if there is a market for Privacy Enhanced Tech- nology. The answer is yes, however Privacy Enhancing Technology may not have been broadly known yet in order to make it profitable. The gov- ernments or non-profit organisations must therefore run such systems or at least promote their further development and deployment. Especially governments have however conflicting interests: While governments of democratic nations are responsible to keep the freedom of citizens (and privacy as a part of it), governments also need instruments to prose- cute criminal activities. Subsequently, Privacy Enhancing Technologies have to consider law enforcement functionality in order to balance these different targets. 1 Introduction Privacy Enhancing Technology (PET) enables the user of communication sys- tems to protect himself or herself from being traced his or her activities and behaviour. PET addresses confidentiality aspects: – Anonymity of a sender or recipient (hiding the identity of a user), – Unobservability of communication relations (hiding who is communicating with whom) or – generally the unlinkability of actions (events). The terminology and attacker models mostly used in PET are described in [1]. John Borking can be considered as the creator of the term “Privacy Enhancing Technology (PET)” when he invented the Identity Protector [2]. Encryption (or cryptography in general and public-key encryption in par- ticular) can be understood as a basic building block for PET systems. Other building blocks are dummy traffic and broadcasting: – Sending random bits at every time interval hides when a meaningful en- cryp

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