Talk by Alastair Beresford, University of Cambridge (hosted by Andy Warfield)


MockDroid: trading privacy for application functionality on smartphones

MockDroid is a modified version of the Android operating system which allows a user to ‘mock’ an application’s access to a resource. This resource is subsequently reported as empty or unavailable whenever the application requests access. This approach allows users to revoke access to particular resources at run-time, encouraging users to consider the trade-off between functionality and the disclosure of personal information whilst they use an application. Existing applications continue to work on MockDroid, possibly with reduced functionality, since existing applications are already written to tolerate resource failure, such as network unavailability or the lack of a GPS signal. The talk concludes with a demo of MockDroid and a discussion on areas of future work.

Alastair Beresford is currently an Academic Fellow at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, and a Teaching Fellow at Robinson College. He read Computer Science as an undergraduate at Cambridge, and after graduation he worked as a researcher at BT Laboratories. He returned to Cambridge to study for a PhD in October 2000. Alastair's current research work explores privacy in distributed computing platforms, with a particular interest in mobile systems. More information is available on his home page:

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