As information such as passwords and account numbers moves from computer to computer across the Internet, it is encrypted—jumbled into a non- comprehensible form. Unfortunately, attackers can intercept this encrypted data as they flow through the system or access encrypted data from where it sits in storage and use it maliciously. Cloud computing is becoming more and more common and will require changes in the way that data are protected.
With so much information being shared online these days, it’s critical that much of it remains private and anonymous. We trust, for example, that social networking sites such as Facebook remove personally identifiable information when they share our preferences and desires with advertisers. Vitaly Shmatikov, a young, fast-talking associate professor of computer science studies privacy in ubiquitous data sharing systems, from Facebook to hospitals to Netflix.