Chapter Twenty. A User-Centric Privacy Space Framework

Benjamin Brunk

WITH THE MASS POPULARIZATION OF THE INTERNET AT THE END OF THE 20TH CENTURY, hundreds of new software tools, systems, and services specifically designed for security and privacy protection became available. Many hoped that this great effort would help fight back the widely acknowledged technological assault on privacy, especially privacy in cyberspace. But most of these tools were difficult to use and, as a result, fell short of their intended goals.

Looking at the failing of existing tools, I decided to create my own tool or suite of tools that would borrow the best features from many other privacy and security tools that were available, but mine would further include a well-designed and soundly tested user interface. Like other authors in this volume, I believed that people would be motivated to protect their privacy only if they could understand and use the privacy-protecting tools that they were given.

Although I never created that ultimate privacy tool, my analysis of the space in which privacy tools exist and operate became the basis of my dissertation. Presented here, it is a useful framework for evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of many privacy and security tools.


Soon after I started work on my comprehensive privacy tool, I discovered that I could not decide which features it should include. Privacy tools were a new category of software tools in 1995: many had very specific and novel features ...

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