With the prevalence of mobile computing devices and the increasing availability of pervasive services, ubiquitous computing (Ubicomp) is a reality for many people. This reality is generating opportunities for people to interact socially in new and richer ways, and to work more effectively in a variety of new environments. More generally, Ubicomp infrastructures – controlled by software – will determine users’ access to critical services.
With these opportunities come higher risks of misuse by malicious agents. Therefore, the role and design of software for managing use and protecting against misuse is critical, and the engineering of software that is both functionally effective while safe guarding user assets from harm is a key challenge. Indeed the very nature of Ubicomp means that software must adapt to the changing needs of users and their environment, and, more critically, to the different threats to users’ security and privacy.
ASAP proposes to radically re-conceptualise software engineering for Ubicomp in ways that are cognisant of the changing functional needs of users, of the changing threats to user assets, and of the changing relationships between them. We propose to deliver adaptive software capabilities for supporting users in managing their privacy requirements, and adaptive software capabilities to deliver secure software that underpin those requirements. A key novelty of our approach is its holistic treatment of security and human behaviour. To achieve this, it draws upon contributions from requirements engineering, security & privacy engineering, and human-computer interaction. Our aim is to contribute to software engineering that empowers and protects Ubicomp users. Underpinning our approach will be the development of representations of security and privacy problem structures that capture user requirements, the context in which those requirements arise, and the adaptive software that aims to meet those requirements.
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