Alphanumeric Data: Minimising Privacy Concerns in Smart Environments

Document Type



Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


Users’ privacy concerns have been a major obstacle to the successful realisation of the research in Smart environments (SmEs). SmEs are computing environments that proactively and seamlessly support users. In order for a SmE to proactively support users within its surroundings, it must possess knowledge about users’ activities. To acquire this knowledge, a lot of information about users needs to be collected. In addition, despite feeling they are out of control due to seamless operations in SmEs, users often feel intimidated by physical monitoring through video cameras. These factors raise a major concern for users’ privacy. This article proposes an alternative approach for acquiring knowledge about users’ activities without jeopardising their privacy. A description of a solution for identifying users and locations is provided. The solution uses devices’ and sensors’ IDs to automatically identify users and locations. Since IDs are composed of alphanumeric data types, without actual users’ identities, the proposed solution will have a significant impact on minimising users’ privacy concerns toward SmEs.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

International Journal of Digital Society (IJDS)