TC: Small: Collaborative Proposal: User-Controlled Persona in Virtual Community

Project: Research project

Description

Request: This is a proposal for a supplement to the active NSF sponsored project entitled Collaborative Proposal: User-controlled Persona in Virtual Community, Award No. NSFIIS- 0916688, for consideration under the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program. The proposed work will be performed at the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering at the Arizona State University, coordinated by Gail-Joon Ahn.

Description

The fundamental building block for the proper operation of social networks in virtual community is personal information. To support this, most of online social networking sites collect and process information regarding their entities, generally individuals, and oer a variety of features such as person- alization, anity sharing, accelerated networking, and novel services enabled by the third party gadgets. For instance, MySpace allows millions of individuals to create personal proles and share personal infor- mation with vast networks of friends. Similarly, Facebook is a national online directory that connects students together at local schools and schools around the nation. Also, Amazon allows its customers to create their shopping preferences including wish-lists which can then be shared with its business partners. Therefore, social networking sites can create a central repository of personal information. These archives are persistent and cumulative [4]. Consequently, marketers, school ocials, government agencies, and online predators can collect data about Internet users through those sites. Our preliminary investigation pointed out that the most challenging problem in virtual community such as online social networking sites is the protection of personal information. This emerging issue should be addressed urgently and an innovative, systematic and usable approach should be studied. As the use of personal information in virtual community seems manifold, including the representation of an individuals digital persona (social role) and identication, so does the abuse or misuse of the information. The issue of privacy is critically important in this context, strongly motivating us to launch this project. Privacy encompasses the right to control information about individuals, including the right to limit access to that information, and the loss of such control often makes us exposed to a bewildering excess of intentional and unintended consequences, including criminal activities ranging from identity theft to online and physical stalking; from embarrassment to price discrimination and blackmailing [5]. Just as the evolution of computing has enabled such capabilities of digital society, there must also be a solution that protects the key informational enabler of social network systems and provides systematic mechanisms to share such information in a more controlled and secure way. We refer to such management as Digital Persona and Privacy Management (DPPM) that constitutes a quantum shift in the way in which we think about information technology solutions for virtual community. While we are still early in the process, DPPM includes a set of problematic and challenging issues such as unauthorized use and controlled sharing of personal information. In addition, a variety of social and business activities in virtual community are based on digital identity, which is the fundamental property of DPPM. Digital identity concerns not only user authentication but also other important services for virtual community, and it is believed that digital identity is a set of user information that encompasses authentication information, usage control information, and other user data collected based on a variety of purposes and uses. To support this end, a new paradigm called user-centricity is also considered in this project. Our goal is to develop fundamental techniques to attain user-controlled sharing of personal attributes in virtual community without compromising the users social intent and interaction. The objective of this project, which is paving a way towards that goal, is to develop an advanced framework for DPPM called U-Control to manage and release users' personal attributes considering a notion of digital persona and associated risks in disclosing such private information over virtual communities

Description

Today we have organizational and software procedures that control the exchange of interpersonal information in social networking sites, text messaging, instant messenger programs, bulletin boards, online roleplaying games, computersupported collaborative work, and online education. All of these applications fit into the larger category of social media such as social software and social networking that support virtual community. Individuals are connected by relationship, interaction, or the flow of information, and they form or participate in different social groups in this cyberspace. Typical examples of such virtual communities are networks of individuals (people in a specific culture, in communities, or in similar working contexts) or networks of organizations (companies, cities, political parties). Furthermore, the recent popularity of online social networking sites expedites the use of mediatedcommunication into the relationship development process in virtual community. According to ComScore Media Metrix, more teens visit MySpace than Yahoo MSN or Electronic Arts gaming site. Currently, a new type of communication behavior is emerging amongst young Internet users as they explore their identities, experiment with behavioral norms, and build friendships. Online social networking sites play a key role in youth culture in virtual community. As the use of personal information in virtual communities seems manifold, including the representation of an individuals social role and identification, so does the abuse or misuse of the information. The issue of privacy is critically important in this context, strongly motivating us to launch this project. Just as the evolution of computing has enabled such capabilities of digital society, there must also be a solution that protects the key informational enabler of social network systems and provides systematic mechanisms to share such information in a more controlled and secure way. We refer to such management as Digital Persona and Privacy Management (DPPM) that constitutes a quantum shift in the way in which we think about information technology solutions for virtual communities. This project addresses a significant aspect of this problem concerning models, architectures, and mechanisms in DPPM. Our goal is to develop fundamental techniques to attain user-controlled sharing of personal attributes in virtual communities without compromising the users social intent and interaction. The objective of this project, which is paving a way towards that goal, is to develop an advanced framework for DPPM called U-Control to manage and release users personal attributes considering a notion of digital persona based users privacy preferences and associated risks in disclosing such private information over virtual communities.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date9/15/098/31/13

Funding

  • National Science Foundation (NSF): $309,503.00

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Authentication
Information technology
Text messaging
Internet
Bulletin boards
Industry
Systems engineering
Education
Students
Communication
Experiments