A Synergistic Approach to Digital Privacy

Christopher Gorog

This paper outlines an approach for IEEE to take leadership for digital privacy to align many existing IEEE Societies and efforts in the areas of computer systems & applications security, organizational & global architectures, policy-supporting legislation, originating new standards, integrating compliance into technologies, and helping design decision-board infrastructures for governance bodies. Much of the current emphasis on evolving privacy technologies centers on big corporate enterprises and institutions, causing the industry to support corporate assets protection mainly. Fostering technology to empower individual privacy-enabling tools has lagged, and personal privacy has diminished because corporate big data applications have made sizable investments into exploiting private data. As one of the largest individual-member-based organizations, IEEE is urged to develop a collaborative approach for digital privacy with privacy-enabling technologies to benefit its members. The recommendations outlined define a prospective course that could result in future global individualized privacy capabilities which employ a combination of synergistic technologies such as distributed ledgers, differential privacy, homomorphic encryption, secure distributed multi-party computation, zero-trust architectures, proof-of-origin of data, software, or other techniques. Such an effort would involve community engagement and outreach, academic peer-review events, the establishment of governance bodies, coordination & expansion of existing standards, and the development of publicly-accessible prototypes. Collaboration with other IEEE-sponsored efforts for transactive energy systems, confidentiality and security of healthcare records and devices, and other IEEE-funded projects will help magnify digital privacy investments already in progress in these applications of emerging technologies.

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