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Volume 12 / Issue 3

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DOI:   10.3217/jucs-012-03-0252


Quality of Privacy (QoP) for the Design of Ubiquitous Healthcare Applications

Mónica Tentori (Department of Computer Science, CICESE, Mexico)

Jésus Favela (Department of Computer Science, CICESE, Mexico)

Victor M. González (Department of Informatics, University of California at Irvine, USA)

Abstract: Privacy is a complex social process that will persist in one form or another as a fundamental feature of the substrate into which ubiquitous computing (ubicomp) is threaded. Hospitals are natural candidates for the deployment of ubicomp technology while at the same time face significant privacy requirements. To better understand the privacy issues related to the use of ubicomp we place our efforts in understanding the contextual information relevant to privacy and how its interplay shapes the perception of privacy in a hospital. The results indicate that hospital workers tend to manage privacy by assessing the value of the services provided by a ubicomp application and the amount of privacy they are willing to concede. For ubicomp applications to better deal with this issue we introduce the concept of Quality of Privacy (QoP) which allows balancing this trade-off in a similar way as that of Quality of Service (QoS) does for networking applications. We propose an architecture that allows designers to identify different levels of QoP based on the user's context. Finally, we identify the main privacy risks of a location-aware application and we extend its architecture exemplifying the use of QoP to manage those risks.

Keywords: privacy-aware computing, quality of privacy, ubiquitous computing, ubiquitous healthcare

Categories: H.5.2, K.4.1