Situation-Based Access Control: Privacy management via modeling of patient data access scenarios

Mor Peleg, Dizza Beimel, Dov Dori, Yaron Denekamp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Access control is a central problem in privacy management. A common practice in controlling access to sensitive data, such as electronic health records (EHRs), is Role-Based Access Control (RBAC). RBAC is limited as it does not account for the circumstances under which access to sensitive data is requested. Following a qualitative study that elicited access scenarios, we used Object-Process Methodology to structure the scenarios and conceive a Situation-Based Access Control (SitBAC) model. SitBAC is a conceptual model, which defines scenarios where patient's data access is permitted or denied. The main concept underlying this model is the Situation Schema, which is a pattern consisting of the entities Data-Requestor, Patient, EHR, Access Task, Legal-Authorization, and Response, along with their properties and relations. The various data access scenarios are expressed via Situation Instances. While we focus on the medical domain, the model is generic and can be adapted to other domains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1028-1040
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biomedical Informatics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2008


  • Access control
  • Conceptual model
  • Object-Process Methodology
  • Ontology
  • Privacy preservation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Computer Science Applications


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