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Usability and privacy: a study of Kazaa P2P file-sharing

Published on the Hewlett Packard (HP) Web site, this report finds that a large percentage of Kazaa users have either accidentally or unknowingly shared their private files with everyone who has access to the Kazaa network. Conducted by Nathaniel S. Good of HP Labs and Aaron Krekelberg of the University of Minnesota, this study discloses shortcomings in the Kazaa software, which in turn, poses a serious threat to computer privacy. Using various experiments to analyze the usability of the Kazaa file sharing interface, the researchers discovered that the majority of the users in the study were unable to tell what files they were sharing, and in certain cases, were not even aware they were sharing files at all. The researchers also created dummy files on a server and discovered in a 24-hour period that the files had been accessed and downloaded several times by unique visitors. Available in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf), this nine page report, on the whole, is primarily for those affiliated with P2P file sharing systems.
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Date Issued [2002]
Scout Publication
Date of Scout Publication 2002-06-21
Archived Scout Publication URL

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