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Privacy Incorperated Software Agent: Building a privacy guardian for the electronic age.

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Enhancing privacy and security for e-transactions

The lack of privacy for Internet users and security in their electronic transactions has been considered as the major drawback for expanding e-business and e-government. New technology has been developed to foster security and privacy for consumers and citizens of new combinations of telecommunications, information technology and media.

Digital Economy

Until recently, retrieval of information on the Internet has been a very complicated, time-consuming and cumbersome task. Modern information technologies including Intelligent Software Agents Technologies (ISATs) have been designed to automatically perform such tasks, without requiring any supervision or direct input from users. On the basis of a user data profile, such agents search for information, check this against the user's profile and complete transactions on the user's behalf. Despite their user-friendliness, ISATs use and control personal information that may be easily exposed to privacy violations. The recently developed European Directives 95/46/EC and 97/66/EC that are related to telecommunications privacy, provide a general legal framework for protection of personal data. In line with these, the Privacy Incorporated Software Agent (PISA) project focused on an open and secure solution for enhancing privacy in the information avenues. Within this project, there are two key categories of software components, a generic architectural framework and set of reusable software agents. On the grounds of advanced technologies and protocols, such as JADE platform, WEB services, SOAP, RMI and XML, the architecture determines the organisation of internal components. Their functional role along with their interaction with external components is also specified. On the other hand, reusable software agents are specialised to carry out an application and include registration, authority, personal, task, service, advisor, monitor and log agents. The selection of appropriate combinations of agents results in enhanced protection with different degrees of privacy. The suggested architecture was proven to be technically feasible as shown by performance tests run through PISA demonstrators. Collaboration is sought with Internet service providers or intermediate actors for the development of services that will include intelligent software agents and privacy/data protection. For further information on the project click at: http://pet-pisa.openspace.nl/pisa_org/pisa/index.html

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