The Seven Sins of Personal-Data Processing Systems under GDPR

Authors: 

Supreeth Shastri, Melissa Wasserman, and Vijay Chidambaram, University of Texas at Austin

Abstract: 

In recent years, our society is being plagued by unprecedented levels of privacy and security breaches. To rein in this trend, the European Union, in 2018, introduced a comprehensive legislation called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In this paper, we review GDPR from a system design perspective, and identify how its regulations conflict with the design, architecture, and operation of modern systems. We illustrate these conflicts via the seven GDPR sins: storing data forever; reusing data indiscriminately; walled gardens and black markets; risk-agnostic data processing; hiding data breaches; making unexplainable decisions; treating security as a secondary goal. Our findings reveal a deep-rooted tussle between GDPR requirements and how modern systems have evolved. We believe that achieving compliance requires comprehensive, grounds up solutions, and anything short would amount to fixing a leaky faucet in a sinking ship.

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BibTeX
@inproceedings {234843,
author = {Supreeth Shastri and Melissa Wasserman and Vijay Chidambaram},
title = {The Seven Sins of Personal-Data Processing Systems under {GDPR}},
booktitle = {11th {USENIX} Workshop on Hot Topics in Cloud Computing (HotCloud 19)},
year = {2019},
address = {Renton, WA},
url = {https://www.usenix.org/conference/hotcloud19/presentation/shastri},
publisher = {{USENIX} Association},
}