Distribution Volume Tracking on Privacy-Enhanced Wireless Grid

Unknown author (2004-07-25)

In this paper, we discuss a wireless grid in which users are highly mobile, and form ad-hoc and sometimes short-lived connections with other devices. As they roam through networks, the users may choose to employ privacy-enhancing technologies to address their privacy needs and benefit from the computational power of the grid for a variety of tasks, including sharing content. The high rate of mobility of the users on the wireless grid, when combined with privacy enhancing mechanisms and ad-hoc connections, makes it difficult to conclusively link devices and/or individuals with network activities and to hold them liable for particular downloads. Protecting intellectual property in this scenario requires a solution that can work in absence of knowledge about behavior of particular individuals. Building on previous work, we argue for a solution that ensures proper compensation to content owners without inhibiting use and dissemination of works. Our proposal is based on digital tracking for measuring distribution volume of content and compensation of authors based on this accounting information. The emphasis is on obtaining good estimates of rate of popularity of works, without keeping track of activities of individuals or devices. The contribution of this paper is a revenue protection mechanism, Distribution Volume Tracking, that does not invade the privacy of users in the wireless grid and works even in the presence of privacy-enhancing technologies they may employ.