中央研究院  |   資訊科學研究所  |   多媒體網路與系統實驗室 
Involuntary Information Leakage in Social Network Services
(NOTE: Sheng-Wei Chen is also known as Kuan-Ta Chen.)

Abstract
Disclosing personal information in online social network services is a double-edged sword. Information exposure is usually a plus, even a must, if people want to participate in social communities; however, leakage of personal information, especially one's identity, may invite malicious attacks from the real world and cyberspace, such as stalking, reputation slander, personalized spamming and phishing.

Even if people do not reveal their personal information online, others may do so. In this paper, we consider the problem of involuntary information leakage in social network services and demonstrate its seriousness with a case study of Wretch, the biggest social network site in Taiwan. Wretch allows users to annotate their friends' profiles with a one-line description, from which a friend's private information, such as real name, age, and school attendance records, may be inferred without the information owner's knowledge. Our analysis results show that users' efforts to protect their privacy cannot prevent their personal information from being revealed online. In 592,548 effective profiles that we collected, the first name of 72% of the accounts and the full name of 30% of the accounts could be easily inferred by using a number of heuristics. The age of 15% of the account holders and at least one school attended by 42% of the holders could also be inferred. We discuss several potential means of mitigating the identified involuntary information leakage problem.


Citation
Ieng-Fat Lam, Kuan-Ta Chen, and Ling-Jyh Chen, "Involuntary Information Leakage in Social Network Services," In Proceedings of IWSEC 2008, 2008.

BibTex
@INPROCEEDINGS{lam08:sns,
  AUTHOR     = {Ieng-Fat Lam and Kuan-Ta Chen and Ling-Jyh Chen},
  TITLE      = {Involuntary Information Leakage in Social Network Services},
  BOOKTITLE  = {Proceedings of IWSEC 2008},
  YEAR       = {2008}
}
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