Aarathi Prasad. Privacy-preserving controls for sharing mHealth data. Ph.D. Thesis, Dartmouth College Computer Science, May 2016. Available as Dartmouth Computer Science Technical Report TR2016-794.

Abstract: Mobile devices allow people to collect and share health and health-related information with recipients such as health providers, family and friends, employers and insurance companies, to obtain health, emotional or financial benefits. People may consider certain health information sensitive and prefer to disclose only what is necessary. In this dissertation, we present our findings about factors that affect people’s sharing behavior, describe scenarios in which people may wish to collect and share their personal health-related information with others, but may be hesitant to disclose the information if necessary controls are not available to protect their privacy, and propose frameworks to provide the desired privacy controls. We introduce the concept of close encounters that allow users to share data with other people who may have been in spatio-temporal proximity. We developed two smartphone-based systems that leverage stationary sensors and beacons to determine whether users are in spatio-temporal proximity. The first system, ENACT, allows patients diagnosed with a contagious airborne disease to alert others retrospectively about their possible exposure to airborne virus. The second system, SPICE, allows users to collect sensor information, retrospectively, from others with whom they shared a close encounter. We present design and implementation of the two systems, analyse their security and privacy guarantees, and evaluate the systems on various performance metrics. Finally, we evaluate how Bluetooth beacons and Wi-Fi access points can be used in support of these systems for close encounters, and present our experiences and findings from a deployment study on Dartmouth campus.

Keywords: mHealth, security, wireless

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Copyright © 2016 by Aarathi Prasad.

The copy made available here is the authors' version; for a definitive copy see the publisher's version described above.