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Escaping the Big Brother: an empirical study on factors influencing identification and information leakage on the Web

Carmagnola, Francesca; Osborne, Francesco and Torre, Ilaria (2014). Escaping the Big Brother: an empirical study on factors influencing identification and information leakage on the Web. Journal of Information Science, 40(2) pp. 180–197.

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DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1177/0165551513509564
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Abstract

This paper presents a study on factors that may increase the risks of personal information leakage, due to the possibility of connecting user profiles that are not explicitly linked together. First, we introduce a technique for user identification based on cross-site checking and linking of user attributes. Then, we describe the experimental evaluation of the identification technique both on a real setting and on an online sample, showing its accuracy to discover unknown personal data. Finally, we combine the results on the accuracy of identification with the results of a questionnaire completed by the same subjects who performed the test on the real setting. The aim of the study was to discover possible factors that make users vulnerable to this kind of techniques. We found out that the number of social networks used, their features and especially the amount of profiles abandoned and forgotten by the user are factors that increase the likelihood of identification and the privacy risks.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2013 The Authors
ISSN: 1741-6485
Keywords: user identification; cross-site user profiling; social networks; privacy; inference of user attributes; social networks privacy; cross-system user modeling
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Knowledge Media Institute (KMi)
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Item ID: 40045
Depositing User: Francesco Osborne
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2014 15:54
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2016 20:49
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/40045
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