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A User Model for Information Erasure

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Executive Summary

The authors studied a notion of information erasure for systems which receive secrets intended for limited-time use. Erasure demands that once a secret has fulfilled its purpose the subsequent behaviour of the system should reveal no information about the erased data. In this paper they address a shortcoming in that work: for erasure to be possible the user who provides data must also play his part, but previously that role was only specified informally. Here they provide a formal model of the user and a collection of requirements called erasure friendliness. The authors prove that an erasure-friendly user can be composed with an erasing system (in the sense of Hunt and Sands) to obtain a combined system which is jointly erasing in an appropriate sense.

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