chowniot: Enhancing IoT privacy by automated handling of ownership change

Md Sakib Nizam Khan*, Samuel Marchal, Sonja Buchegger, N. Asokan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
112 Downloads (Pure)


Considering the increasing deployment of smart home IoT devices, their ownership is likely to change during their life-cycle. IoT devices, especially those used in smart home environments, contain privacy-sensitive user data, and any ownership change of such devices can result in privacy leaks. The problem arises when users are either not aware of the need to reset/reformat the device to remove any personal data, or not trained in doing it correctly as it can be unclear what data is kept where. In addition, if the ownership change is due to theft or loss, then there is no opportunity to reset. Although there has been a lot of research on security and privacy of IoT and smart home devices, to the best of our knowledge, there is no prior work specifically on automatically securing ownership changes. We present a system called for securely handling ownership change of IoT devices. combines authentication (of both users and their smartphone), profile management, data protection by encryption, and automatic inference of ownership change. For the latter, we use a simple technique that leverages the context of a device. Finally, as a proof of concept, we develop a prototype that implements inferring ownership change from changes in the WiFi SSID. The performance evaluation of the prototype shows that has minimal overhead and is compatible with the dominant IoT boards on the market.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPrivacy and Identity Management. Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency in the Age of Big Data - 13th IFIP WG 9.2, 9.6/11.7, 11.6/SIG 9.2.2 International Summer School, Revised Selected Papers
EditorsDaniel Slamanig, Stephan Krenn, Simone Fischer-Hübner, Jo Pierson, Eleni Kosta
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9783030167431
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational IFIP Summer School on Privacy and Identity Management: Fairness, accountability and transparency in the age of big data - Vienna, Austria
Duration: 20 Aug 201824 Aug 2018
Conference number: 13

Publication series

NameIFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology
ISSN (Print)1868-4238


ConferenceInternational IFIP Summer School on Privacy and Identity Management


  • IoT
  • Ownership
  • Privacy
  • Smart home


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