15-508 / 17-801 / 19-608: Privacy Policy, Law, and Technology

Homework 8 - due March 4, 2004

Reading assignment: Chaum 1987; Waldman 2001; Reiter 1999; Gillmor 2004

1. How do the types of anonymity provided by Crowds and Publius differ? Which do you see using in your personal life and for what? If these tools would not be useful, explain why.

2. What are the main differences between the Crowds protocol and a mix network?

3. Should people always be allowed to be anonymous on the Internet? If so, how can illegal, irresponsible, or anti-social behavior be prevented? If not, why not and when should anonymity be prohibited?

4. What is a blind signature? For what applications is it useful?

5. Website GreatWidgets.com uses a third-party service provider ShopHelp.com to run a shopping cart service that allows customers to purchase widgets on their website. The ShopHelp service places third-party cookies on the GreatWidgets web site. After Microsoft rolled out IE6, GreatWidgets started getting complaints from some of their customers that the shopping cart function was no longer working. After reading an article about P3P, the GreatWidgets webmaster wondered whether the new IE6 privacy settings might be causing the shopping cart problem. She consulted with the GreatWidgets Chief Privacy Officer and created a P3P policy for GreatWidgets and posted it on the site. She also created a P3P policy reference file and posted it at the well-known location on the GreatWidgets web site. However, the customer complaints about shopping cart failures did not end. What would you suggest to the webmaster that she try next to solve the problem?