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February 7, 2002

Researchers Develop “The Privacy Place,” New Internet Information Resource

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Dr. Anton
(Photo: Roger Winstead)

The word “privacy” can mean many things — seclusion, secrecy or freedom from intrusion — but in our computer age this term takes on new significance.  As individuals and companies seek to protect themselves and their personal information, a lack of resources about privacy issues has become apparent.

A new Internet site exists that can provide such information, thanks to the work of researchers Dr. Ana I. Anton, assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at NC State University; Dr. Julia B. Earp, assistant professor of business management in the College of Management at NC State; Dr. Colin Potts, associate professor in the College of Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology; and William Stufflebeam, independent technology consultant and a computer science graduate student at NC State.  The Privacy Place, http://theprivacyplace.org/, is designed to make information about privacy issues available to policymakers, software developers and private citizens.

The Privacy Place home page contains a number of links to information sources.  One section, Presentations, links to NC State E-Commerce seminars as well as presentations made by the researchers at various national and international conferences.  Site visitors can view summaries of the seminars as well as information about attending.  Under Headlines, visitors can connect to news stories about privacy issues from recent international news publications such as Business Week and ZD Net News, an online technology newspaper.  The Headlines section is sponsored by Moreover Technologies, a business information search engine that provides real-time news and information to corporations.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) and E-Commerce at NC State are sponsors of the site, and the project is a research affiliate with the Center for Education and Research for Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS) at Purdue University.  CERIAS is the largest information security university center in the United States for research and education in computer, network and communications security.

The website was created as part of a two-year, $334,000 NSF Information Technology Research (ITR) grant to NC State and Georgia Tech researchers, who are studying Internet privacy policies and their relationship with user privacy values and software requirements.  According to Anton, “Our research focuses on consumer privacy values and developing e-commerce systems whose functionality is aligned with those values and the privacy policies that govern them.”

The mission of the research effort reflects society’s concern with privacy issues.  “Information technology policymakers and software developers must balance the requirements of security with the demands of liberty,” said Anton.  “This site reflects our efforts to reach this balance.”

-- rudd --

Media Contacts: Dr.Ana I. Anton, 919/515-5764, aianton@burdell.csc.ncsu.edu, Linda E. Rudd, 919/515-3848, linda_rudd@ncsu.edu




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