Workshop on Privacy Enforcement and Accountability with Semantics

Held in conjunction with the 6th International Semantic Web Conference and
the 2nd Asian Semantic Web Conference, Nov. 11-15, 2007, Busan, Korea

Call For Papers
Organizing Committee
Programme Committee
Paper Submission
Programme & Papers

Important Dates

july 27, 2007
august 3, 2007
(midnight GMT+1)

august 31, 2007
Camera Ready:
september 14, 2007
november 12, 2007

Workshop Motivation and Goal

The concept of information sharing has dramatically changed with the new digital era. Handheld devices that could provide highly personal information about the owner (e.g., RFID, GPS) are becoming more pervasive. Our use of the Web also leads to the implicit sharing of information with others through our blogs, websites, social networks, Semantic Desktop sharing, clickstream tracking, as well as through the photographs, documents, and bookmarks we post on sites such as Flickr, Zoomr, and Delicious. Disclosing information to third parties may have unexpected consequences since a receiver of such information might easily use, copy, and redistribute it in ways not intended for by the owner. Users must understand the implications of using such devices or applications and providing information to third parties. Even though users may prevent the direct disclosure of sensitive information by an access control mechanism and the information being leaked may not seem private, sensitive information may revealed by inferences drawn from non-sensitive data and metadata. Examples include identifying a user and providing her sensitive information through a simple search engine query log, and retrieving medical data from sets of anonymized records. Thus along with privacy enforcement, accountability is also important because it may not always be possible to prevent third parties from obtaining sensitive information but accountability helps ensure that this information is used according to certain policies defined by the law or by the owner.

The role of Semantic Web research in privacy and accountability is two-fold. On the one hand, Semantic Web techniques may be used in order to provide advanced privacy and accountability mechanisms. Using formal languages with well-defined semantics in order to represent, reason about, and exchange such information helps to make it non-ambiguously understood by others. Privacy ontologies, sticky policies attached to data, accountability logics, and efforts such as the Creative Commons are some examples. Semantic Web languages can also be used to specify and track provenance of information, which is useful for accountability. Representing information in Semantic Web languages can also prevent sensitive information from being inferred by providing built in semantic models that can be used to recognize some potential inference channels. Another possible way to protect privacy is to disclose an appropriately generalized (or vague) answer to a query. For example, the query "where is John now" might be answered with "in room ITE 329 on the UMBC Campus " or "on the UMBC campus" or "somewhere in Maryland" depending on John's privacy preferences and the identify of the requester. Semantic Web languages provide a natural mechanism for generalization through their subclass structuring. The second role of Semantic Web research in this area is that privacy enforcement and accountability also apply to many emergent Semantic Web research topics. As an example, semantic desktop sharing poses questions about what to share, under which conditions, and how to control the usage of such information in a way that the privacy of the user is not violated. Understanding the new requirements that these scenarios pose is crucial for the short-term research in the area.

This workshop will bring together researchers interested in the field in order to discuss and analyze important requirements and open research issues in this context, taking into account both perspectives: how can Semantic Web techniques help and which requirements arise from current Semantic Web research lines. The workshop will deliver a state-of-the-art overview and successful research advances in the area as well as guidelines for future research.


Workshop topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Ontologies for privacy
  • Techniques for privacy, anonymity, pseudonymity, and unlinkability
  • Privacy management & enforcement
  • Information hiding and watermarking
  • Information provenance
  • Inference channels
  • Generalization of answers
  • Privacy policy specifications and business rules
  • Negotiations and incentives for cooperation enforcement
  • Accountability
  • Privacy and personalization
  • Privacy and mobility
  • User- and context-awareness in privacy, security and trust
  • P3P
  • Digital Rights Management
  • Creative Commons
  • Pervasive technologies (RFID, cellular networks, WiFi) and Semantic Web
  • Case studies, prototypes, and experiences
  • Desktop search and sharing
  • Legal and policy perspective of privacy

Call for papers and paper submission

We welcome both full research papers (10 pages) describing completed research as well as position papers (5 pages) describing proposed research or work in progress, as long as they are well-argued, fully-justified and contain some preliminary results. We also seek demonstration papers (1-5 pages) outlining practical work in this field.

Paper submissions must be formatted in the style of the Springer Publications format for Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS). Please refer to the Springer's Author Instructions at,11855,5-164-2-72376-0,00.html

Papers should be submitted electronically via the main conference submission system. In order to submit a paper to the workshop, authors will need to log into the main conference submission site (, select the Author Console, and create a new paper submission in the workshop track.

Questions can be sent to

Important dates:

  • Submission deadline: July 27 August 3, 2007 (midnight GMT + 1)
  • Notification for acceptance: August 31, 2007
  • Camera ready due: Sep 14, 2007

A text version for e-mail distribution is available here: peas-cfp.txt

Organising Commitee

Programme Committee

  • Elisa Bertino, Purdue University
  • Piero Bonatti, University of Naples
  • Grit Denker, SRI
  • Li Ding, Stanford University
  • Sandro Etalle, University of Twente
  • Tim Finin, UMBC
  • Yolanda Gil, ISI and USC
  • Lalana Kagal, MIT
  • Wolfgang Nejdl, L3S and University of Hannover
  • Daniel Olmedilla, L3S and University of Hannover
  • Alexander Pretschner, ETH Zurich
  • Filip Perich, Shared Spectrum
  • Pierangela Samarati, University of Milano
  • Kent Seamons, BYU
  • Ralph R. Swick, MIT and W3C
  • William Winsborough, GMU
  • Daniel Weitzner, MIT and W3C
  • Marianne Winslett, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign