Enhancing privacy in cloud computing via policy-based obfuscation

Miranda Mowbray, Siani Pearson*, Yun Shen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we describe a privacy manager for cloud computing that controls policy-based obfuscation and de-obfuscation of personal, sensitive, or confidential data within cloud service provision. By these means, cloud computing users may reduce the risk of their private data being stolen or misused, and in addition assistance may be given to cloud computing providers in helping them conform to privacy law. We describe different possible architectures for such privacy management in cloud computing, give an algebraic description of obfuscation features provided by the privacy manager, and describe how policies may be defined to control such obfuscation. Furthermore, we assess the performance and scalability of this approach and consider mechanisms to enhance usability. Several examples of how the privacy manager might be used are given, including protection of private metadata associated with online photos and of confidential information contained within share portfolios.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-291
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Supercomputing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012


  • Cloud computing
  • Encryption
  • Hybrid cloud
  • Obfuscation
  • Privacy


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