University of Cambridge > > Computer Laboratory Systems Research Group Seminar > PeerSoN: Privacy-Preserving P2P Social Networks

PeerSoN: Privacy-Preserving P2P Social Networks

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Online Social Networks like Facebook, MySpace, Xing, etc. have become extremely popular. Yet they have some limitations that we want to overcome for a next generation of social networks: privacy problems and requirements of Internet connectivity, both of which are due to web-based applications on a central site whose owner has access to all data.

To overcome these limitations, we envision a paradigm shift from client-server to a peer-to-peer infrastructure coupled with encryption so that users keep control of their data and can use the social network also locally, without Internet access. This shift gives rise to many research questions intersecting networking, security, distributed systems and social network analysis, leading to a better understanding of how technology can support social interactions.

Our project, PeerSoN, consists of several parts. One part is to build a peer-to-peer infrastructure that supports the most important features of online social networks in a distributed way. We have written a first prototype to test our ideas. Another part is concerned with encryption, key management, and access control in such a distributed setting. Extending the distributed nature of the system, we investigate how to integrate such peer-to-peer social networking with ubiquitous computing and delay-tolerant networks, to enable direct exchange of information between devices and to take into account local information.

Bio: Sonja Buchegger is a senior research scientist at Deutsche Telekom Laboratories, Berlin. In 2005 and 2006, she was a post-doctoral scholar at the University of California at Berkeley, School of Information. She received her Ph.D. in Communication Systems from EPFL , Switzerland, in 2004, a graduate degree in Computer Science in 1999, and undergraduate degrees in Computer Science in 1996 and in Business Administration in 1995 from the University of Klagenfurt, Austria. In 2003 and 2004 she was a research and teaching assistant at EPFL and from 1999 to 2003 she worked at the IBM Zurich Research Laboratory in the Network Technologies Group. Her current research interests are economics, security, and privacy of self-organized networks.

This talk is part of the Computer Laboratory Systems Research Group Seminar series.

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