Reactivity and Social Data: Keys to Drive Decisions in Social Network Applications

Social Network applications are gaining momentum. However, equally important, privacy is being shown a crucial requirement. Nowadays, privacy preferences on Social Network applications consist only on allowing or restricting access to information based on attributes of users who are part in the very same network. This paper tries to enhance privacy and provide automatic reactions to events via a very flexible specification of privacy policies and the reasoning associated to them. In our approach it is possible to include Social Semantic data exposed on the Web into the policy definition and reasoning process. We introduce the notion of reactive Semantic Web policies offering higher control of the communications and interactions among Social Network applications and/or its users. We also present SPoX (Skype Policy Extension), which is an implementation that allows policy-driven behaviour control based on the Social Network and communication software Skype, including the capacity of automatically react in certain situations based on user-defined reactive policies such as, for instance, to automatically deny or let through Skype calls and messages based on existing online Social Web data.
Published in 2009