Send in your ideas. Deadline June 1, 2024
End: 2012-01


Privacy-Preserving Communication Protocol for OSNs

Today online social networks (OSNs) have become an indispensable platform for internet users to find friendship and share information. However, users are pretty much electronically naked in any OSN: (1) User’s data is in clear to the OSN service provider, and can be accessed by many other parties without any consent; (2) User’s activities are under surveillance by the OSN service provider.

Numerous privacy breaches have been reported, often with disastrous consequences to the user concerned, such as getting fired by the employer, getting rejected from a job application, even leading to suicide. To mitigate the problem, most OSN service providers provide some privacy controls to users to protect their information. However, this is not the antidote and will never be, because the aforementioned problems (1) and (2) still remain.

This project will design and implement a privacy-preserving communication protocol to mitigate the problems (1) and (2). In more detail, it will achieve the following features:

  1. A user always keeps his private data in encrypted form.
  2. Two users can match each other based on their respective private data sets, without revealing anything.
  3. Two friends who share some common private date, communicate in private. The communication will remain private against the OSN service provider and other users.

The implementation will be based on the OpenSocial API, and programmed in javascript. The final form of the implementation will be a browser plug-in, for example for Firefox.

  • The project's own website: