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Eighth International Network Conference (INC 2010)

Eighth International Network Conference (INC 2010)
Heidelberg, Germany, July 6-8, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-84102-259-8

Title: Survey on Legal Data Protection Norms Relevant to Automated Network Infrastructure Analysis
Author(s): Ingo Ritter, Martin Kappes, Peter Wedde, Rüdiger Gad, Andreas Renner
Reference: pp189-197
Keywords: technical data protection, automatic LAN infrastructure analysis
Abstract: In order to conduct an automated network infrastructure discovery yielding a
complete description of the network and its components as possible, it is
necessary to analyze data flows and services provided in the network. However,
if such an analysis is done without restrictions, it may also capture, process
and store personal data of network users. Therefore, such an analysis could be
illegal according to data protection norms as personal rights of users might be

In this paper, we identify the relevant German data protection norms in such
scenarios and subsequently analyze the applicability of these norms to the
layers of the network reference model. Furthermore, we study the relevance of
application layer protocol header fields for some protocols and evaluate
whether and in which cases the use of such fields is allowed with respect to
data protection norms. Our main emphasis is the trade-off between data
protection and legitimate IT security interests when conducting an automated
network infrastructure analysis.
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