Computing at Brighton

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University’s privacy protection success

The University of Brighton has helped develop a new software system that empowers citizens to take control of how their private information is used.

Hospitals in Spain and Italy, and government departments in France, Italy and Greece, have successfully applied the new platform in pilot projects, and the European Union has asked for presentations highlighting key aspects and successes.

Funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme, the two-year ‘VisiOn: Visual Privacy Management in User-Centric Open Environments’ project has concluded with the successful development of a visual privacy management platform that enables citizens and public administrations to understand and visualise their privacy needs. It identifies conflicts with regard to different privacy needs and privacy laws and it provides warnings to citizens and organisations informing them of potential privacy breaches.

The University’s Centre for Secure, Intelligent and Usable Systems was part of a consortium of ten other organisations in Europe which carried out the research. The University received €392,000 to develop a critical component of the platform which defines privacy requirements and their visualisation.

Professor Haris Mouratidis, Professor of Software Systems Engineering here in our school, and director of the Centre for Secure, Intelligent and Usable Systems, said: “The University developed novel methods for the modelling and analysis of security and privacy requirements that are key for the privacy threat analysis performed by the VisiOn platform. We also developed a corresponding tool that automates the analysis and integrates with the rest of the platform components.

“This was an exciting project which focused on an issue that is important for all of us, that of privacy of our personal information.

“We all enjoy the benefits of modern technology such as easy exchange and 24/7 access of information. However, most of the time we use services, we have no understanding of how our personal data is used, shared and controlled. This is the case when using public administration services such as self-assessment tax returns.

“The new system will go a long way towards addressing these security and privacy concerns for both individuals and organisations.”


Stephanie Thomson • November 21, 2017

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