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Digital Home Networking by Rodrigo Roman, Ernesto Exposito, Michel Diaz, Romain Carbou

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Chapter 6

Security

6.1. Importance of security and privacy

Security and privacy are two features of paramount importance in today's digital life. Although users are often familiar with these terms, they do not usually grasp a comprehensive understanding on how important actually they are, and this is due, to a great extent, to the fact that they are not straightforward concepts at all.

The notion of privacy covers a very broad area, some dimensions of which are still not yet well understood. Privacy can be viewed as “the desire of people to choose freely under what circumstances and to what extent they will expose themselves, their attitude and their behavior to others” [WES 67]. This notion can broadly be classified into physical, personal, communication, or information types of privacy. Here, information privacy is the most relevant type to the home network. In this setting, privacy is mainly about protection of the user's personal information, i.e. how users can control the collection, dissemination, and use of such information inside and outside the home. We will expand this concept in section 6.1.2.

On the other hand, security is strongly related to the notion of trust. Risks are always present when an interaction with a system is made, as we can never be sure about the reliability of the system. It is then necessary to reduce risks as much as possible by increasing the user's trust in the system. Trust can be earned by providing relevant protection mechanisms that will make ...

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