Formal Methods for Privacy

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Executive Summary

Privacy means something different to everyone. Against a vast and rich canvas of diverse types of privacy rights and violations, the authors argue technology's dual role in privacy: new technologies raise new threats to privacy rights and new technologies can help preserve privacy. Formal methods, as just one class of technology, can be applied to privacy, but privacy raises new challenges, and thus new research opportunities, for the formal methods community. Cultures differ in their expectations regarding privacy. In some cultures, it is impolite to ask someone's age or someone's salary. Governments differ in their citizens' rights to privacy; just witness the difference in privacy among the United States, the European Union, and China.

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