A framework for anonymous but accountable self-organizing communities

Gábor Ziegler, Csilla Farkas, András Lorincz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper we propose a novel architecture and approach to provide accountability for Web communities that require a high-level of privacy. A two-layered privacy protection architecture is proposed, that supports (i) registration of participants and enforcement of community rules, called internal accountability, and (ii) rule-based interaction with real world organizations, called external accountability. Our security protocols build upon community-based trust and limit the exposure of private data on trusted third parties. The two-layered architecture protects the mappings between real users and their virtual identities, and among the virtual users, while guaranteeing internal and external accountability. We target Web communities that are dynamic and self-organizing, i.e. roles and contributions of participants may change over time. The proposed concepts and protocols are implemented in our SyllabNet project that supports anonymous course evaluations by university students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)726-744
Number of pages19
JournalInformation and Software Technology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2006



  • Accountability
  • Anonymity
  • Privacy
  • Self-organizing
  • Trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications

Cite this