New Tech Transforms Transparency Into Privacy
CSO Online (10/15/14) John P. Mello Jr.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers are developing HTTP with Accountability (HTTPA), a new Internet protocol that aims to preserve privacy by making information less private. The new protocol enables the owner of the data to attach conditions for its use, as well as allowing the usage of the data to be audited so its owner can determine if its conditions are being followed. The data would be assigned a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) that could be used by the creator to attach conditions to it, such as who should or should not be looking at the information, how it may be used, or when it should be destroyed. The URIs also are used to keep track of the data, as the records would be stored on secure servers across the Internet, and the only person who would have access to those servers is the one who owns the data, the researchers say. There could be hundreds of resources on a website, but “HTTPA would just be applied to resources that need protection,” says MIT’s Oshani Seneviratne. HTTPA is unique because it can also be used to facilitate data sharing. “HTTPA is a way of allowing us to begin to tap the benefits of sharing data across different sources while still allowing some personal preferences for privacy,” says George Washington University researcher Allan Friedman.
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