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Moving e-commerce with PIVOTS: private information viewing offering total safety

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3 Author(s)
A. Yannopoulos ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Nat. Tech. Univ. of Athens, Greece ; Y. Stavroulas ; T. A. Varvarigou

We present a technology which enables wide-scale deployment of a unique and powerful data access and search tool. This tool makes it possible for content owners on the Internet to offer end-users the ability to search, assess, or otherwise examine their nondisclosable private data. The end-users may use arbitrary, distrusted assessment algorithms and receive the results which are produced. These results take the form of a meaningful digest, e.g., a useful statistic, a relevance assessment, etc. There exists some controllable danger of information theft which, however, is quantitatively dependent on system parameters and can be tuned accordingly. We consider a broad class of practical applications where brute force attacks exist which are easier and cheaper to implement than an attack through appropriately configured PIVOTS, making our system, effectively, very trustworthy. The actual creation of the search algorithm may be performed by the end-users themselves in specialized applications, or by third-party search-engine operators who offer their services to end-users. Sophisticated data mining technologies which are very often not directly available to content owners can thus be exploited to mine even private data collections. Users discovering interesting items in private data sets may purchase this specific data, but other desirable exploitation possibilities are also analyzed. A novel business model is presented and its potential for great impact on e-commerce is explored. Three diverse and important real-world applications are presented in conclusion.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering  (Volume:16 ,  Issue: 6 )