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Technical progress in electronics allows the transformation of visions of pervasive computing into real world options. This perspective has raised deep concerns about the survival of privacy, as central building blocks of pervasive computing are in direct conflict with the fundaments of privacy protection. Considerable efforts have been undertaken to cope with these concerns with only limited success. While pertinent efforts have resulted in solutions for single aspects, they proved insufficient to eliminate the fears; on the contrary, they highlighted the principal incompatibility of privacy and pervasive information systems. Technical concepts alone, regardless how complex they are, cannot be sufficient; rather, a mix of privacy enhancing technologies, restrictions on the utilization of pervasive computing, and new regulations required to preserve some remnants of privacy.
Date of Publication: Spring 2005