CS research that attempts to represent privacy typically takes one of two approaches: policy based proposals and / or ontological frameworks.
Three different approaches to privacy ontologies are evident in CS:
- Industry specific (Hecker’s privacy ontology to support e-commerce (Hecker, Dillon, & Chang, 2008)), or
- General to the legislation (Tang’s privacy ontology for interpreting case law (Tang & Meersman, 2005)).
Privacy Analysis Tool Schematic (Hassan & Logrippo, 2009a)
This ontology is somewhat limited because of the jurisdictional construct. However, the use of formalized representation to represent legal requirements shown are helpful in converting legal requirements into the logical assertions required by the tool for analysis, including structural, flow and dictionary information.
Meta-Model with Process Ontology (Hassan & Logrippo, 2009b)
Hecker et al works include similar process ontology, but also includes the entity relationships:
Privacy Ontology with Entity Hierarchy (Hecker et al., 2008)
Hecker et al’s unique contribution to the field is found in the rationale for the privacy ontology. The authors paraphrase; privacy on the web faces massive problems due to two major factors: first, “the inherently open, nondeterministic nature of the Web”; second the “complex, leakage-prone information flow of many Web-based transaction that involve the transfer of sensitive, personal information” (Hecker et al., 2008).
Tang and Meersman set out to apply ontological technology directly to regulated privacy requirements, by linking case law and legislation (Tang & Meersman, 2005). The proposed ontology is set out:
Privacy Ontology Structure (Tang & Meersman, 2005)
The directive commitment consists of fact proving, syntax interpreting, interpretation and justification and fact reasoning to undertake case analysis.
The legal abstractor bridges the case parser and the ontology. The authors describe the data as including law retrieval systems with a privacy sub-directive retrieval system and the e-court system (to retrieve documents from the court debate system).
The case parser is the basis of the legal ontology data. In this environment, the proposed ontology would be represented by fact lexons (extracted from case law) and the directive commitments (that tailor fact lexons to ascribing real life application requirements). Tang and Meersman are some of a very few researchers in the ontological field of privacy that propose a development environment: DOGMA (Developing Ontology-Guided Mediation for Agents), as it separates concepts and relations from constraints, derivation rules and procedures (Tang & Meersman, 2005).