Special Issue "Security and Privacy in Mobile Systems"

A special issue of Electronics (ISSN 2079-9292). This special issue belongs to the section "Computer Science & Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 January 2017).

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Martin Werner

Lehrstuhl für Mobile und Verteilte Systeme, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Institut für Informatik, Germany
Website | E-Mail
Interests: trajectory computing; location-based services; indoor-navigation; privacy; data mining

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Today, the increasing interconnection of mobile devices and people by Internet services raises more and more questions regarding privacy. Many services rely on private information in their functional, as well as commercial, designs. For example, a web search engine that is not able to evaluate location information is also not able to provide location-specific results making it essentially unusable for many applications. Furthermore, advertisement on the Internet is usually personalized and guided by information that should be regarded private in general. Therefore, a thorough and fair discussion of privacy should be performed by society.

In order to enable such a fair discussion, we are interested in bringing together results explaining privacy-friendly or even privacy-preserving algorithms for the age of big data and distributed systems. This includes results about privacy-preserving data mining in a central location and privacy-friendly data publication, as well as distributed protocols for privacy-preserving computation, including consensus algorithms and multiparty approaches.

In addition to these technical abilities, which have to be explored, we should also start discussing the value of privacy and the tradeoff between privacy and fidelity of computation. In general, a call for privacy levels, which are too high, will destroy the ability to provide specific types of services. On the contrary, calling for low privacy or no privacy at all makes it impossible to protect the informational self-determination.

A third topic of major interest is the fact that any privacy level can only be achieved by secure systems and architectures. If a given system is insecure, protecting privacy in communication networks and algorithms is of no point, because attackers can directly access the private information.

A final twist on the topic of mobile security and privacy is given by the limited computational capabilities of such systems. Applying very complicated approaches, such as private information retrieval, are limited by the fact that the involved computational overhead and communication are simply too much for common handheld devices.

Dr. Martin Werner
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Electronics is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Privacy in Mobile Systems
  • Integrated Approaches to Security and Privacy
  • Consensus Protocols and Distributed Multiparty Computation
  • Differential Privacy
  • Privacy Algorithms for handheld devices
  • Privacy and Fidelity Tradeoff—From Algorithms to the User Interface

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
SmartContent—Self-Protected Context-Aware Active Documents for Mobile Environments
Electronics 2017, 6(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics6010017
Received: 19 January 2017 / Revised: 16 February 2017 / Accepted: 22 February 2017 / Published: 4 March 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3605 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Mobile devices make it possible to create, store, access, share or publish personal content on the Internet, anywhere and at anytime. This leads to situations of potential intentional or unintentional misuse of content as well as privacy issues. Recent techniques involving the use [...] Read more.
Mobile devices make it possible to create, store, access, share or publish personal content on the Internet, anywhere and at anytime. This leads to situations of potential intentional or unintentional misuse of content as well as privacy issues. Recent techniques involving the use of contextual information focus on access of documents stored in clouds, or authentication for secured Web sites. These techniques or more traditional solutions, such as steganography or Digital Rights Management, do not empower the user itself, or data controller in professional settings, with a fine-grained control of the access to or manipulations actions on documents stored on mobile devices, e.g., copying, sharing, etc. In this paper, we propose SmartContent, a novel approach for content protection and privacy. Documents are active and context-aware documents that sense and analyse their current context, e.g., location, noise, neighbouring devices, social network, expiration time, etc. Based on user provided policies, they grant, deny or limit access and manipulation actions, or destroy themselves if necessary. We present the generic model of SmartContent, a concrete architecture and an implementation of a proof-of-concept specifically designed for mobile devices. We deployed it on tablets and showed that a picture dynamically reveals or conceals itself based on sensed context or on changing policies. The implementation leverages the SAPERE middleware specifically developed for context-aware systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Security and Privacy in Mobile Systems)

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