The privacy stories making headlines today generally focus on individual products or services, such as mobile apps, VoIP, or web-based email, and their associated privacy protections (or lack thereof). However, rarely noticed are the building blocks these Internet products and services are developed on – largely invisible but critically important technical standards, such as HTTP, IP and DNS. Can’t better privacy protections be built into these Internet protocols so that the applications developed on top of them have better inherent protections? With the publication of Privacy Considerations for Internet Protocols, Internet engineers have a new roadmap for achieving just that.
The roadmap explains how privacy threats that are commonly the focus of public policy – tracking, identification, secondary use of data, and many others – manifest within technical designs. It provides engineers with guidance about how to mitigate these threats and questions they should ask themselves to assess the privacy implications of different engineering design choices. In short, it takes the concept of Privacy by Design and applies it to the task of engineering the Internet’s core technical building blocks.
Read more »