Towards a Privacy Preserving Framework for Publishing Longitudinal Data

Title: Towards a Privacy Preserving Framework for Publishing Longitudinal Data
Authors: Sehatkar, Morvarid
Date: 2014
Abstract: Recent advances in information technology have enabled public organizations and corporations to collect and store huge amounts of individuals' data in data repositories. Such data are powerful sources of information about an individual's life such as interests, activities, and finances. Corporations can employ data mining and knowledge discovery techniques to extract useful knowledge and interesting patterns from large repositories of individuals' data. The extracted knowledge can be exploited to improve strategic decision making, enhance business performance, and improve services. However, person-specific data often contain sensitive information about individuals and publishing such data poses potential privacy risks. To deal with these privacy issues, data must be anonymized so that no sensitive information about individuals can be disclosed from published data while distortion is minimized to ensure usefulness of data in practice. In this thesis, we address privacy concerns in publishing longitudinal data. A data set is longitudinal if it contains information of the same observation or event about individuals collected at several points in time. For instance, the data set of multiple visits of patients of a hospital over a period of time is longitudinal. Due to temporal correlations among the events of each record, potential background knowledge of adversaries about an individual in the context of longitudinal data has specific characteristics. None of the previous anonymization techniques can effectively protect longitudinal data against an adversary with such knowledge. In this thesis we identify the potential privacy threats on longitudinal data and propose a novel framework of anonymization algorithms in a way that protects individuals' privacy against both identity disclosure and attribute disclosure, and preserves data utility. Particularly, we propose two privacy models: (K,C)^P -privacy and (K,C)-privacy, and for each of these models we propose efficient algorithms for anonymizing longitudinal data. An extensive experimental study demonstrates that our proposed framework can effectively and efficiently anonymize longitudinal data.
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -