Enabling Privacy for the Paranoids

Gagan Agarwal, Mayank Bawa, Prasanna Ganesan, Hector Garcia-Molina, Krishnaram Kenthapadi, Nina Mishra, Rajeev Motwani, Utkarsh Srivastava, Dilys Thomas, Jennifer Widom and Ying Xu


P3P is a set of standards that allow corporations to declare their privacy policies. Hippocratic Databases have been proposed to implement such policies within a corporation's datastore. From an end-user individual's point of view, both of these rest on an uncomfortable philosophy of trusting corporations to protect his/her privacy. Recent history chronicles several episodes when such trust has been willingly or accidentally violated by corporations facing bankruptcy courts, civil subpoenas or lucrative mergers. We contend that data management solutions for information privacy must restore controls in the individual's hands. We suggest that enabling such control will require a radical re-think on modeling, release/acquisition, and management of personal data.