A privacy-preserving approach to policy-based content dissemination


We propose a novel scheme for selective distribution of content, encoded as documents, that preserves the privacy of the users to whom the documents are delivered and is based on an efficient and novel group key management scheme. Our document broadcasting approach is based on access control policies specifying which users can access which documents, or subdocuments. Based on such policies, a broadcast document is segmented into multiple subdocuments, each encrypted with a different key. In line with modern attribute-based access control, policies are specified against identity attributes of users. However our broadcasting approach is privacy-preserving in that users are granted access to a specific document, or subdocument, according to the policies without the need of providing in clear information about their identity attributes to the document publisher. Under our approach, not only does the document publisher not learn the values of the identity attributes of users, but it also does not learn which policy conditions are verified by which users, thus inferences about the values of identity attributes are prevented. Moreover, our key management scheme on which the proposed broadcasting approach is based is efficient in that it does not require to send the decryption keys to the users along with the encrypted document. Users are able to reconstruct the keys to decrypt the authorized portions of a document based on subscription information they have received from the document publisher. The scheme also efficiently handles new subscription of users and revocation of subscriptions.


authorisation, data privacy, document handling, public key cryptography

Date of this Version



2010 IEEE 26th International Conference on Data Engineering (ICDE), Issue Date: 1-6 March 2010, page(s): 944 - 955 , Long Beach, CA