Topic overview

Privacy, as the protection of data concerning and belonging to individuals, has attracted much attention lately. The mass of data published online by the individuals themselves, their acquaintances or by companies they trust, coupled with the power of statistical data analysis poses real challenges to let people control their online avatar.

Technology keeps on improving everyday and no-one can expect non-specialists to seize the power of data analysis. That’s why the problem has also multiple commercial, political, legal and even sociological aspects that make this theme strongly cross-disciplinary.

Research Directions

The mobile phone has a particular place in an individual’s life, as it constitutes a privileged interface to his/her professional, personal and services-related contacts. It therefore defines a set of relationships and exchanges that have been  recently modeled, in social sciences, as an ecosystem called habitele. In the eponym research project, we sought  a better characterization of this habitele and, more specifically, we were interested in the interactions of an individual with its services providers (communication operator, social networks, e-mail provider, etc.). These providers are not directly part of the ecosystem, but have a certain vision of each person’s habitele and interconnect habiteles. Based on graphs and epidemiological models, we developed mobile applications that helped us understand how well or bad different classes of services providers treat users privacy.

Related contractual research projects

  • The Habitele ANR Project