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RE: privacy in OWL

From: Bernard Vatant <bernard.vatant@mondeca.com>
Date: Tue, 6 May 2003 17:33:56 +0200
To: "Rigo Wenning" <rigo@w3.org>, <public-webont-comments@w3.org>
Cc: Benoit Carcenac <benoit.carcenac@mondeca.com>
Message-ID: <PHENKPMFEPGEMOCCHNFPKELECBAA.bernard.vatant@mondeca.com>

Well, I was just about to send a comment along the same general lines, the
notion of "rights" in OWL. In real-world applications, one will need the
built-in ability to manage rights of access and edition on the information,
based on users profiles, definition of workspaces, and the like.

Of course the rights on any given OWL class or individual can be defined by
a specific property in a specific ontology, but it would maybe good to have
a generic built-in property "owl:Rights" used to assert that information on
such class of objects will be available only to such class of users.

This is something that can be somehow achieved in Topic Maps software by an
ad hoc interpretation of "scope" elements - although such an interpretation
of scope is left to the application.

Bernard Vatant
Senior Consultant
Knowledge Engineering
Mondeca - www.mondeca.com

> -----Message d'origine-----
> De : public-webont-comments-request@w3.org
> [mailto:public-webont-comments-request@w3.org]De la part de Rigo Wenning
> Envoye : mardi 6 mai 2003 15:45
> A : Dan Connolly
> Cc : t-and-s@w3.org; public-webont-comments@w3.org
> Objet : Re: privacy in OWL
> On Thu, May 01, 2003 at 09:53:12AM -0500, Dan Connolly wrote:
> > If you have any comments on it, please send them
> > to public-webont-comments@w3.org
> Comment on Privacy in Web-ont
> It is honorable, that the Webont Working Group thought about
> including something about Privacy into their guide.
> <for the impatient>
> As usual in privacy, nearly everybody is aware of potential
> privacy issues or has some kind of bad conciousness about it.
> In the absence of real solutions, this bad consciousness is
> discharged by some rather general privacy warning. The result is
> that implementers of OWL will share bad consciousness, but lack a
> solution.
> The good news is, that there might be some remedy. The remedy
> lies in OWL itself, as the approach is mainly based on metadata.
> The P3P Specification WG has thought about integrating the P3P
> semantics into the Semantic Web. For this reason -in cooperation
> with the RDF IG- a RDF-Schema representing P3P was developed[1]. It
> might be good to reference this schema and verify, whether it is
> importable into OWL (or what is missing/has to be changed,
> to make it importable). This way, OWL-Ontologies treating persons
> would be able to also include those persons' preferences. This
> way, the inference engine can respect those preferences (or
> policies attached to an individual).
> In the future, we might want to use the preference-language
> APPEL[2] but I'm actually not able to determine if it would
> better fit into OWL.
> </for the impatient>
> I would suggest the following text. You can still change it as
> you like:
> OWL's ability to express ontological information about
> individuals -even appearing in multiple documents-, it's
> support for linking of data about individuals from diverse
> sources in a principled way may raise privacy issues.
> Privacy, by it's definition, protects individuals. Only if
> dealing with natural persons, one must be aware of the privacy
> implications. Goal is to protect against the disclosure of
> sensitive personal data but also against the creation of profiles
> making the individual and it's personality completly transparent
> to others. If we talk about privacy, we want to the opaqueness of
> someones personality and intimacy to the outside world. This can
> be overturned by the individual's will to disclose information.
> As a consequence, there is a need for the individuals kept in an
> ontology to be able to express their preferences. This can be
> done using the RDF-syntax for P3P [link] or APPEL [link].
> In particular, the ability to express equivalences using
> owl:sameIndividualAs can be used to state that seemingly
> different individuals are actually the same.
> Owl:InverseFunctionalProperty can also be used to link
> individuals together. For example, if a property such as
> "SocialSecurityNumber" is an owl:InverseFunctionalProperty, then
> two separate individuals could be inferred to be identical based
> on having the same value of that property. When individuals are
> determined to be the same by such means, information about them
> from different sources can be merged. This aggregation can be
> used to determine facts that are not directly represented in any
> one source.
> The ability of the Semantic Web to link information from multiple
> sources is a desirable and powerful feature that can be used in
> many applications. However, the capability to merge data from
> multiple sources, combined with the inferential power of OWL,
> does have potential for abuse. Users of OWL should be alert to
> the potential privacy implications.
>   1. http://www.w3.org/TR/p3p-rdfschema/
>   2. http://www.w3.org/TR/P3P-preferences/
> Best,
> --
> Rigo Wenning            W3C/ERCIM
> Policy Analyst          Privacy Activity Lead
> mail:rigo@w3.org        2004, Routes des Lucioles
> http://www.w3.org/      F-06902 Sophia Antipolis
Received on Tuesday, 6 May 2003 11:34:18 UTC

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