User Preference Management in a Pervasive System Should be a Trusted Function

S. McBurney, E. Papadopoulou, N. Taylor, and M.H. Williams (UK)


Pervasive, User preferences, Privacy, Trusted.


In developing a ubiquitous or pervasive system, the privacy of the user needs to be protected as much as possible. At the same time the system needs to take account of the user’s wishes in taking decisions on behalf of the user by maintaining a set of user preferences for each user. This involves not only the management of such preferences but also monitoring the user and automatic learning of new preferences or updates to existing ones. The need for privacy may lead to a crucial decision in the design of a pervasive system as to whether or not to treat the components dealing with personalization and user preference management as trusted components. This paper discusses four of the problems that arise if these components are not treated as trusted. Two of these are dealt with relatively easily although the remaining two are more challenging. Overall, the paper demonstrates why it is important to have an integrated system in which this functionality is trusted.

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