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An Architectural View for Data Protection by Design

Book Contribution - Book Chapter Conference Contribution

© 2019 IEEE. Data Protection by Design (DPbD) is a truly interdisciplinary effort that involves many stakeholders such as legal experts, requirements engineers, software architects, developers, and system operators. Building software-intensive systems that respect the fundamental rights to privacy and data protection is the result of intensive dialogue and careful trade-off decisions. In practice however, there is a dichotomy between the legal reasoning which is conducted in Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIA) and software engineering approaches, such as threat modeling, aimed at identifying privacy requirements and privacy risks. These activities are commonly performed in total isolation, which negatively impacts (i) the compliance exercise, (ii) the ability to evolve the system over time, and (iii) the architectural trade-offs made during system design. In this article, we present an architectural viewpoint for describing software architectures from a legal, data protection perspective whose core modeling abstractions are based on an in-depth legal analysis of the EU General Data Protection Regulation. This viewpoint is tied to Data Flow Diagrams-commonly used in threat modeling-through correspondence rules. The proposed viewpoint supports the automation of a number of data protection impact assessment steps through (i) meta-model constraints, (ii) model analysis, and (iii) interaction with the involved stakeholders. This enables a streamlined compliance exercise, reconciling legal privacy and data protection notions with architecture-driven software engineering practices. We validate our approach in the context of a realistic e-health application for a number of complementary development scenarios.
Book: 2019 IEEE International Conference on Software Architecture (ICSA)
Pages: 11 - 20
Publication year:2019