2022: Privacy First: An Open Source Framework for Observability in Modern Applications

Bachelor's theses

Svilen Kirov



As applications have improved over the years, users have grown accustomed to software that responds quickly and is always available. Observability tools make it possible for developers to match these expectations, by allowing them to constantly monitor the internal state of a system. Available open-source observability frameworks offer privacy to their users, however, lack convenience, when compared to their commercial counterparts. The convenient commercial observability products, on the other hand, lack transparency. Meaning that there is no framework, which combines transparency and privacy with convenience. The Swift observability library Seeker does exactly that, with a special focus on privacy. Competition among observability frameworks for iOS applications is fierce, with Firebase by Google being a popular choice. Google products, however, are notorious for invading user privacy, which puts Seeker at an advantage, since it removes the hassle of configuring software on your own, without compromising privacy. With Seeker, we demonstrated that transparency, convenience, and privacy can come together in the context of observability. The TUM Campus App is a first example where we can see that in action. The next steps would include testing the framework in production since for now it was only used inside a controlled environment, as the alpha TUM Campus App for iOS has only four users using it.

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Prof. Dr. Stephan Krusche

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