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Roger Clarke's 'PETs 2.0'

PETs 2.0 - Getting it Right the Second Time Around

Abstract of 23 October 2016

For presentation at the Conference of the Stiftung Datenschutz,
Leipzig, 22 November 2016

Roger Clarke **

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In concert with legal and organisational measures, technology has an important role to play in privacy protection. But Privacy-Enhancing Technologies (PETs) have mostly remained stuck in the laboratory, and widespread installation and use are the exception not the rule. There have been too many impediments to their adoption, and the celebrated research venues have failed dismally to address the problems.

Fortunately, there are signs that PETs 2.0 will follow a different course and achieve the breakthrough. The impediments are now well-known. We need to address those, but also to focus on the drivers for adoption. We can identify generic needs that most people have. But to have a compelling case and create the impulse for software to be installed, it's essential to segment the market, and to deliver specific features that each particular segment recognises it needs.

Risk assessment and risk management techniques are much-used as a means of protecting the interests of organisations. The way ahead for PETs is to co-opt those techniques, and apply them to categories of 'persons-at-risk'. That lays the foundation for moving beyond 'gifted amateur' and 'craft' approaches to PET development, by harnessing professionalism. PET 2.0 isn't about individual tools, but about architected suites. Rather than needing to search out scatters of disparate products, and download, install, configure and learn about them, people will find them available through their normal channels, in a form compatible with their working environments.


Clarke R. (2001) 'Introducing PITs and PETs: Technologies Affecting Privacy' Privacy Law & Policy Reporter 7, 9 (March 2001), PrePrint at

Clarke R. (2001) 'The Origins of 'PIT' and 'PET'', Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, April 2001, at

Clarke R. (2008) 'Business Cases for Privacy-Enhancing Technologies' Chapter 7 in Subramanian R. (Ed.) 'Computer Security, Privacy and Politics: Current Issues, Challenges and Solutions' IDEA Group, 2008, pp. 135-155, PrePrint at, esp. ss. 4 and 5

APF (2012) 'Policy Statement on Information Security' Australian Privacy Foundation, December 2012, at

Clarke R. (2014) 'Key Factors in the Limited Adoption of End-User PETs' Panel-Session on 'Using Technologies: How Can We Better Promote Useable, Effective Privacy-Enhancing / Anti-Surveillance Technologies?' Politics of Surveillance Workshop, University of Ottawa, 8-10 May 2014, at

Clarke R. (2014) 'How to Promote PET Usage' Notes for a Panel on 'What are the key factors that can promote effective use of PETs?', Politics of Surveillance Workshop, University of Ottawa, 10 May 2014, at

Clarke R. (2015) 'The Prospects of Easier Security for SMEs and Consumers' Computer Law & Security Review 31, 4 (August 2015) 538-552
PrePrint at

Clarke R. (2016) 'Can We Productise Secure eWorking Environments?' Workshop Resources for 11th IFIP Summer School on Privacy and Identity Management, 21-26 August 2016, Karlstad, Sweden, Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, August 2016, at

Author Affiliations

Roger Clarke is Principal of Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, Canberra. He is also a Visiting Professor in Cyberspace Law & Policy at the University of N.S.W., and a Visiting Professor in the Computer Science at the Australian National University.

He has been a Board-member of the world's longest-serving privacy advocacy organisation, the Australian Privacy Foundation, since its formation in 1987, and served as its Chair 2006-14. He was awarded what was only the second Australian Privacy Medal in 2009, the first having gone to Justice Michael Kirby. According to Google Scholar, his published articles on privacy topics have to date attracted over 4,500 citations.

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