Web-traveler policies for images on social networks

Anna C. Squicciarini, Smitha Sundareswaran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Images are one of the most popular type of contents shared on these sites. One of the most popular types of contents shared on these sites is image. Most of these networks offer some rudimentary forms of access controls such as allowing the users to choose who can view their profiles or the images uploaded by them. These controls however apply only in the perimeter of the users' direct control such as desktops, profiles etc. Users have no control over their content once it is downloaded by others. In order to enable a user to truly maintain control over his content, new access control mechanisms must be designed so as to enable users to control their content even when managed by others. Towards fulfilling this gap, in this paper we propose the concept of "web-traveler policies". Web-traveler policies allow the user to specify who can view, upload or download a given image within a social network. The unique, innovative feature of web-traveler policies is that they travel with the image, as long as it is hosted on the given social networking site. Additionally, we explore the possibility of extending these controls across different sites, by using the concept of mashups. In the paper we prove the feasibility of this approach, by implementing a working prototype of our approach on a real open source social network platform. We test the performance and scalability of such architecture under heavy user loads and also its resilience towards naïve attacks. This work is a first innovative step toward scalable systems for providing each user with a centralized system for his/her own content's protection all over the web.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-484
Number of pages24
JournalWorld Wide Web
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


Dive into the research topics of 'Web-traveler policies for images on social networks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this