Archive for August, 2012

NSF Grant on Regulatory Compliance Software Engineering

Friday, August 10th, 2012

The National Science Foundation recently awarded researchers from The Privacy Place a grant to work on Regulatory Compliance Software Engineering with UCON_LEGAL! You can read the abstract below. More details are available at

Abstract: Software engineers need improved tools and methods for translating complex legal regulations into workable information technology systems. Compliance with legal requirements is an essential element in trustworthy systems. The research proposed herein will advance the cutting edge for creating more accurate, efficient, and reliable RCSE (Regulatory Compliance Software Engineering), resulting in compliant software systems. System specifications typically concentrate on system-level entities, whereas legal discussions emphasize fundamental rights and obligations discursively. This work bridges three cultures of scholarship and research: software specification, law, and access control. By empowering software developers and policy makers to better understand regulatory texts and the access controls specified within these texts, current and future software systems will be better aligned with the law.

There are three main expected results of this work: (1) Framework, methodology and heuristics to identify UCONLEGAL components in legal texts; (2) extended TLA (Temporal Logic of Actions) rules from UCONABC and mapping of predicates, actions, states, variables and obligations between UCONLEGAL and UCONABC; (3) validated and extended role-based access controls to meet healthcare and financial legal requirements through further development of UCONLEGAL. The impacts of this work are expected to be far reaching; law and regulations govern the collection, use, transfer and removal of information from software systems in many sectors of society, and this research explicitly calls for models and theories for analyzing and reasoning about security and privacy in a regulatory and legal context.