Internet Technology invades almost all spheres of our everyday life. Due to emerging use cases such as online social networks, banking, buildings automation, smart metering, eHealth, and eGovernment, networks are increasingly used to transmit privacy-sensitive data. The volumes of transferred, processed, and stored data are continuously expanding. There is an ever-growing temptation to collect the information once revealed: storage becomes steadily cheaper, data mining increasingly better. As a consequence, privacy on the Internet is attracting more and more attention and has become a serious concern.
The goal of the proposal “Privacy-Enhancing Techniques for Future Internet” (PETIT) is to advance the state-of- the-art in the field of Privacy-Enhancing Techniques (PETs) in order to meet the challenges of the Future Internet and to create solid fundamentals for systems that empower users with tools for strengthening their privacy protection on the Internet. This will be done by analysing existing and developing new methods for privacy-friendly communication and by contributing to a broader understanding of the topic and its primitives within the community of researchers as well as the society. To this end, we will thoroughly analyze the susceptibility of existing PETs with respect to traffic analysis to make them robust against this kind of vulnerability. Afterwards, we will design and analyze methods for network discovery in untrustworthy environments in order to overcome scalability and trustworthiness issues in currently deployed systems. Moreover, we will address the topic of privacy-preserving routing by means of new communication paradigms for emerging protocols and performance-improved path selection metrics for better optimization of available resources and provision of an adequate quality of service.
Privacy-friendly communication is essential for exercising the right to freedom of expression, particularly in those countries that are filtering and censoring access to information. On the other hand, there should be a possibility for law enforcement to persecute criminals that misuse these techniques. Finally, we will address the contradictory issues of censorship resistance and law enforcement in order to harmonize them in future designs. This will help to increase the acceptance and integration of PETs into our daily life to give users the possibility to retain control over their personal data and to mitigate privacy threats and concerns.
Project duration: 01.09.2016 - 31.08.2020.