Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A new system preserves the right to privacy in Internet searches

09.11.2009
A team of Catalan researchers has developed a protocol to distort the user profile generated by Internet search engines, in such a way that they cannot save the searches undertaken by Internet users and thus preserve their privacy. The study has been published in the Computer Communications magazine.

Just imagine someone from Company X who uses the Google search engine to obtain information about a certain technology. If Company Y, a competitor of X, should discover this situation, it could infer that the abovementioned technology is going to be used in X's new products, and with that information it could obtain a competitive edge.

In the same way, a mass media enterprise that finds out the searches undertaken by the competition's journalists could infer what news items they are working on and beat them to it. A personal report could also be drawn up on someone based on their searches.

In order to solve these types of situations, a team of researchers from three Catalan universities (the Rovira i Virgili University, the Autónoma of Barcelona and the Oberta of Catalonia) has developed a system which preserves user privacy via a new computer protocol, whose details are published in the Computer Communications magazine.

"It is a model based on cryptographic tools which distort the profile of users when they use search engines on Internet", explains Alexandre Viejo to SINC. He is one of the authors of the study and a researcher at the Computer Engineering Department of the Rovira i Virgili University, "in such a way that their privacy is preserved".

Search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Microsoft Live search save the profiles of their users (via an analysis of the searches they undertake) with the argument that they are more familiar with their interests and offer a more efficient response.

There currently exist types of software which provide anonymous navigation, such as the Tor network, but the new system "offers a clear improvement in response time". Nevertheless, Alexandre Viejo acknowledges that the application of the protocol delays searches slightly, "but it can be perfectly assumed by the user".

The tool prototype has already been tried in closed (research centre intranets) and open (internet) environments, "and the results allow us to be optimistic with the global implementation of the model". The researchers are now working on the development of a final user version and trust that it will soon be easily integrated into the main platforms and browsers.

References:

Jordi Castellà-Roca, Alexandre Viejo, Jordi Herrera-Joancomartí. "Preserving user's privacy in web search engines". Computer Communications 32 (13-14): 1541�, 2009.

SINC | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.plataformasinc.es

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Japanese researchers develop ultrathin, highly elastic skin display
19.02.2018 | University of Tokyo

nachricht Why bees soared and slime flopped as inspirations for systems engineering
19.02.2018 | Georgia Institute of Technology

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Japanese researchers develop ultrathin, highly elastic skin display

19.02.2018 | Information Technology

Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?

19.02.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Studying mitosis' structure to understand the inside of cancer cells

19.02.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>