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Researcher Proposes Alert Tool For Managing Online Privacy Risks

By Help Net Security

April 28, 2014

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Princeton University professor Arvind Narayanan has proposed the creation of a "privacy alert" system that would help the average Internet user better manage their privacy.

Narayanan envisions the system as having two modules, with the first being a privacy vulnerability tracker similar to existing tools used to track security vulnerabilities. This module would track threats to privacy and tag them based on their severity, the products and demographics they affect, and how they can be mitigated. The second module would be a user-facing tool that can track the user's privacy preferences and use them to filter the information gathered by the vulnerability tracker. This would generate alerts for users, enabling them to easily track and respond to the evolving privacy threat landscape.

Narayanan recognizes the concept of such a tool is not revolutionary, but he hopes that describing how it would work will encourage others to develop it. He notes the tool also could have several additional features, such as an open application programming interface, crowdsourced information, and the ability to integrate it with users' browsing history and other personal information.

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