Privacy-Preserving Network Monitoring: Challenges and Solutions.

Felix Strohmeier, (2008): Privacy-Preserving Network Monitoring: Challenges and Solutions. ICT Mobile Summit, Stockholm, Sweden

Traffic monitoring is a necessary activity for the operation, maintenance and control of communication networks. On the other hand, traffic monitoring has important implications on the user privacy. This paper discusses a novel approach to privacy-preserving traffic monitoring and the related research challenges. This study is based on the analysis of the technical implications and regulatory provisions in the areas of data protection and security. We propose a two-tier privacy-preserving monitoring architecture characterized by i) the adaptation and operation of monitoring applications on protected data, and ii) a back-end middleware system devised to control and orchestrate the access to and processing of the collected data. The feasibility of the proposed architecture faces many challenges. However, by carefully designing data protection mechanisms, by adapting monitoring applications, and by deploying a semantic-rich privacy-aware access control framework, it is possible to concurrently meet strong privacy requirements, achieve efficient solutions for traffic monitoring, and be compliant with the recent regulatory provisions such as data retention.

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