The CASSIOPEIA project investigates how open-standard/open-source technologies can be used to create usable and transparent architectures enabling device owners to selectively collect, share and retain data from users, while delegating control of device features to the users from whom data is being obtained. Selective sharing is a critical dimension of privacy: enhancing user choice, autonomy, participation, and trust. It is the technical embodiment of respect for social contexts in information sharing. Moreover, “privacy-by-default and -design” is the law of the land, but there are few examples of what that actually means aside from basic ideas of confidentiality and limited conceptions of transparency. The CASSIOPEIA project will provide a proof-of-concept for policymakers, technologists and the public showing how privacy-by-design can mean enhanced informational control - focusing on sharing rather than hiding data.

A human-centric conception of data sovereignty and sharing, allows flexible sharing and delegation arrangements that reflect the dynamics of social relations. More importantly, considering the trend of Amazon and Google becoming gatekeepers to the smart home, there is a real danger that these giants will have tremendous power over the nature of data sharing and device control.

Through the use case of a person wanting to rent their home on Airbnb, we will build a technical demonstration that illustrates selective sharing and feature delegation, granular consents, transparency, and non-repudiation. These technical architectures will be built on open standard and open-source technology, enabling a wider range of sharing styles and a more holistic conception of privacy. CASSIOPEIA demonstrates ways of bootstrapping trust at the protocol level by implementing existing and emerging protocols and markup languages. It focuses on trust and reliability by working with technologies that create controls to share data in ways that users actually want, doing so in a secure, transparent manner.

Mandatory Disclaimer

The CASSIOPEIA project is based on a scenario of a smarthome owner and a renter, which reflects the typical interation through the popular AirBnB platform. CASSIOPEIA partners, or the project itself are not affiliated with AirBnB Inc. The AirBnB brand belongs to its owner and is used in this research project, to represent a set of interactions, in good faith, and towards the development of better privacy controls for smart homes.