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Using information flow control to manage privacy

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Derek Gordon Murray.

Many systems have privacy impacts because they sense potentially private things about the world. Because of this mildly obvious conclusion, physical phenomena can taint software components in the information flow sense, forever altering their degree of trustworthiness, safety, or compliance in terms of organisations’ data flow policies. This sort of tainting is exactly what information flow control (IFC) is designed to handle. Can we use IFC apparatus to reason about the privacy properties of various parts of a distributed system? Can we encode aspects of privacy that are defensible in the concrete within an IFC framework? Can IFC help privacy audit?

This is a talklette in the classic sense: the ideas that I shall describe are at best half-baked. But I think that they are promising, so you should come to hear about them and talk about useful stuff yourself.

This talk is part of the Computer Laboratory NetOS Group Talklets series.

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