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Ph.D. candidate Danfeng Yao received the Best Student Paper Award at the Eighth International Conference on Information and Communications Security (ICICS '06) for her paper titled, "Point-Based Trust: Define How Much Privacy Is Worth." The work was in collaboration with her advisor Roberto Tamassia, Keith Frikken at Miami University, and Mikhail Atallah at Purdue University. The authors were also given a cash prize for their contributions. The paper was presented as the first talk on the second day of the conference.

The paper by Danfeng and her colleagues addresses the privacy protection problem on the web and proposes a solution to protect sensitive personal information. The ultimate goal of their work is to make the Internet a safer environment to conduct digital transactions such as on-line shopping, e-banking, and e-commerce in general.

The authors propose a point-based authorization model, which supports personalized access policies. In this model, a consumer can choose which private information to disclose in an on-line transaction. For example, if a consumer considers their phone number sensitive, they can then choose to disclose an email address as the contact information. The paper gives a cryptographic protocol that guarantees the consumer's choice is always optimal and minimizes privacy loss.

The point-based model makes it possible to compensate consumers disclosing their private information, which creates incentives for consumers to actively participate in on-line transactions.

For more information about this work, please visit http://www.cs.brown.edu/people/dyao/icics-award.html