Layering privacy on operating systems, social networks, and other platforms by design

Identity in the Information Society 3 (2):319-341 (2010)
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Abstract

Pervasive, easy-to-use privacy services are keys to enabling users to maintain control of their private data in the online environment. This paper proposes (1) an online privacy lifecycle from the user perspective that drives and categorizes the development of these services, (2) a layered platform design solution for online privacy, (3) the evolution of the PeCAN (Personal Context Agent Networking) architecture to a platform for pervasively providing multiple contexts for user privacy preferences and online informational privacy services, and (4) use of platform network effects for increasing wide-scale user adoption of privacy services. One implication of this paper’s concepts is that platform-mediated networks, which are reportedly the vehicles for most of the revenue earned by 60 of the world’s largest companies, and other platforms that commonly host millions of users, will not have to individually reinvent and manage sophisticated user services for privacy protection since universal privacy platforms can be layered on them in future.

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