A Data Mining Approach to Assess Privacy Risk in Human Mobility Data

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TitleA Data Mining Approach to Assess Privacy Risk in Human Mobility Data
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsPellungrini, R, Pappalardo, L, Pratesi, F, Monreale, A
JournalACM Trans. Intell. Syst. Technol.
AbstractHuman mobility data are an important proxy to understand human mobility dynamics, develop analytical services, and design mathematical models for simulation and what-if analysis. Unfortunately mobility data are very sensitive since they may enable the re-identification of individuals in a database. Existing frameworks for privacy risk assessment provide data providers with tools to control and mitigate privacy risks, but they suffer two main shortcomings: (i) they have a high computational complexity; (ii) the privacy risk must be recomputed every time new data records become available and for every selection of individuals, geographic areas, or time windows. In this article, we propose a fast and flexible approach to estimate privacy risk in human mobility data. The idea is to train classifiers to capture the relation between individual mobility patterns and the level of privacy risk of individuals. We show the effectiveness of our approach by an extensive experiment on real-world GPS data in two urban areas and investigate the relations between human mobility patterns and the privacy risk of individuals.
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