Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Database Systems

pp 864-866

Discretionary Access Control

  • Gail-Joon AhnAffiliated withArizona State University, Tempe

Synonyms

DAC; Identity-based Access Control; etc.

Definition

Discretionary access control (DAC) provides for owner-controlled administration of access rights to objects. DAC, as the name implies, permits the granting and revocation of access permissions to be left to the discretion of the individual users. A DAC mechanism allows users to grant or revoke access to any of the objects under their control.

Historical Background

Trusted computer system evaluation criteria (TCSEC) published by the US Department of Defense, commonly known as the Orange Book, defined two important access control modes for information systems: discretionary access control (DAC) and mandatory access control (MAC). As the name implies, DAC allows the creators or owners of files to assign access rights. Also, a user (or subject) with discretionary access to information can pass that information on to another user (or subject). DAC has its genesis in the academic and research setti ...

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