Vis-à-Vis: Online Social Networking via Virtual Individual Servers
Online social networks (OSNs) are immensely popular. However, they raise important privacy concerns because OSN providers typically concentrate personal information for many users under a single administrative domain and acquire rights to that information. We present Vis-a-Vis, a privacy-preserving framework for OSNs in which each person maintains her own information in her own Virtual Individual Server (VIS), a personal virtual machine running in the cloud. VISs self-organize into peer-to-peer overlay networks, one per social group with which VIS owners wish to share information. Our decentralized approach makes large-scale privacy breaches less likely than in centralized architectures, and gives people fine control over what information they share with whom.
This is joint work with Alex Varshavsky from AT&T Labs and Landon Cox, Harold Lim, and Amre Shakimov from Duke University.
Ramón Cáceres is an experimental researcher in computer systems and networks. His research interests include mobile and pervasive computing, wireless networking, virtualization, security, and privacy. He is an ACM Distinguished Scientist and holds a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. He was born and raised in Dominican Republic.