Date of Original Version

2-9-2011

Type

Technical Report

Abstract or Description

We present an iterative algorithm for enforcing policies represented in a first-order logic, which can, in particular, express all transmission-related clauses in the HIPAA Privacy Rule. The logic has three features that raise challenges for enforcement -- uninterpreted predicates (used to model subjective concepts in privacy policies), real-time temporal properties, and quantification over infifinite domains (such as the set of messages containing personal information).The algorithm operates over audit logs that are inherently incomplete and evolve over time. In each iteration, the algorithm provably checks as much of the policy as possible over the current log and outputs a residual policy that can only be checked when the log is extended with additional information. We prove correctness and termination properties of the algorithm. While these results are developed in a general form, accounting for many different sources of incompleteness in audit logs, we also prove that for the special case of logs that maintain a complete record of all relevant actions, the algorithm effectively enforces all safety and co-safety properties. The algorithm can significantly help automate enforcement of policies derived from the HIPAA Privacy Rule.

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