[Air-L] Paper: De-anonymizing Social Networks
rforno at infowarrior.org
Mon Mar 30 07:09:26 PDT 2009
De-anonymizing Social Networks
Operators of online social networks are increasingly sharing
potentially sensitive information about users and their relationships
with advertisers, application developers, and data-mining researchers.
Privacy is typically protected by anonymization, i.e., removing names,
We present a framework for analyzing privacy and anonymity in social
networks and develop a new re-identification algorithm targeting
anonymized social-network graphs. To demonstrate its effectiveness on
real-world networks, we show that a third of the users who can be
verified to have accounts on both Twitter, a popular microblogging
service, and Flickr, an online photo-sharing site, can be re-
identified in the anonymous Twitter graph with only a 12% error rate.
Our de-anonymization algorithm is based purely on the network
topology, does not require creation of a large number of dummy “sybil”
nodes, is robust to noise and all existing defenses, and works even
when the overlap between the target network and the adversary’s
auxiliary information is small.
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