A Mobile Privacy Assistant for Sharing Personal Memories

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Type: Bachelor Master UROP
Status: Available

Recent improvements in mobile technologies (better and richer sensors, cheaper and faster storage) allow us to record different aspects of our daily activities, e.g. work meetings, discussions during coffee breaks, family moments, etc. Within the EU research project RECALL, we investigated how such data captured from mobile and wearable devices can serve as “memory cues” to help individuals remember certain past events – e.g., a set of images can help one remember an evening with friends or pictures showing white board content can help one remember what was discussed in the last work meeting.

Having already developed the RECALL system for collecting and storing such personal memories, now we are interested to understand how such data can be safely shared with others without violating users’ privacy.

The goal of this project is to develop a mobile application for allowing users to control (at some extent) how such data is shared with others. For example, one can specify that they want to share all their work-related data with work colleagues, or data captured during last hiking trip with close friends, etc. We envision the following three functionalities/features of the Mobile Privacy Assistant app:

  1. an interface for allowing users to specify what parts of their captured data can be shared with which people and under what conditions;
  2. create a model for storing users privacy specifications from step (1) – using e.g. JSON or XML – such that they can be easily processed by other components of our RECALL system
  3. since this app will not have any list of friends that a user can share data with, we envision to start out by connecting it with the user’s social network accounts (e.g. Facebook, Linkedin) and use their APIs to retrieve user’s social connections together with their classification (e.g. “friends”, “family”, “colleagues”).

The app development will be done in Android, hence it is preferred if the student has already some basic Android programming skills (if not then willingness to quickly learn it).

In case for a master thesis, the student will first perform a literature investigation (on the different privacy interfaces for controlling data sharing) and come up with a set of requirements that can be then added to the Android app.

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