Privacy and Security (TOPS)


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ACM Transactions on Transactions on Privacy and Security (TOPS) is devoted to the study, analysis, and application of information security and privacy.  The journal takes a wide view of this topic and its mission is to publish the best original research in this area.

Submitted papers should have practical relevance to the construction, evaluation, application, or operation of security or privacy-critical systems.  Theoretical papers must provide compelling examples and make convincing arguments for the practical significance of their results. Tutorial or survey papers will not be considered for publication.

TOPS was previously titled the ACM Transactions on Information and System Security (TISSEC), which was founded in 1998.  The renaming took place in 2016 to emphasize the journal's enlarged scope and its additional emphasis on privacy.

Relevant topics of interest include:

Security Technologies: authentication; authorization models and mechanisms; auditing and intrusion detection; cryptographic algorithms, protocols, services, and infrastructure; recovery and survivable operation; risk analysis; assurance including cryptanalysis and formal methods; penetration technologies including viruses, Trojan horses, spoofing, sniffing, cracking, and covert channels.

Fundamentals: theory of security and privacy; models of trust; methods for quantifying the risk of the disclosure of private information or the risk a system will be compromised; mechanisms and algorithms that have wide application, including privacy models (e.g. k-anonymity based models and knowledge hiding models), and methods of secure communication with various properties (e.g. non-repudiation or forward secrecy).    

Secure Systems: secure operating systems, database systems and networks; secure distributed systems including security middleware; secure web browsers, servers, and mobile code; specialized secure systems for specific application areas; interoperability, and composition.

Privacy Methods:  methods to offer location privacy; anonymization techniques for users and their data; statistical disclosure control techniques; private information retrieval; protocols for secure multiparty communications, protecting confidential consumer data, and the like. 

Security and Privacy Applications: threats, system tradeoffs, and unique needs of applications; representative application areas include information systems, workflows, cloud computing, cyber-physical systems, electronic commerce, electronic cash, electronic voting, copyright and intellectual property protection, telecommunications systems, wireless systems, and health care.  Design of security and privacy (user experience and usability).

Privacy and Security Policies: confidentiality, integrity, availability, privacy, usage, and survivability policies; tradeoffs, conflicts and synergy among security and privacy objectives.

Note: Submissions on watermarking or steganography are currently out of scope of interest for ACM TOPS. 


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