Measuring privacy in ubiquitous computing applications

Document Type



Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


The concept of “disappearance” underpins the original idea by Weiser on the philosophy of ubiquitous computing. Technology advancement is making ubiquitous computing feasible. The goal is to free users from managing interactions with systems. To achieve this, devices have to acquire sufficient and relevant information to provide the required services. This information is acquired without human assistance thus it poses a threat to personal and organisational privacy. Measuring the degree of privacy offered by a particular ubiquitous computing application is a challenging undertaking. A major difficulty lies on the interpretation of the term ‘privacy’ itself. However, to ensure successful use of these applications for both users and organisations, it is important to devise a means to measure privacy. This paper brings forward a discussion on measuring the degree of privacy offered by a particular ubiquitous application by assessing systems’ components and their information needs. To address the problem, privacy metrics are proposed. These metrics will be of benefit to systems’ designers as well as to users of applications.


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

Publication (Name of Journal)

International Journal of Digital Society (IJDS)