Why privacy makes privacy research hard

Matt Edwards & Steve Wattam

SCC, Lancaster University

Identity resolution capability for social networking profiles is important for a range of purposes, from open-source intelligence applications to forming semantic web connections. Yet research in this area is hampered by the lack of access to ground-truth data linking the identities of profiles from different networks. Almost all data sources previously used by researchers are no longer available, and historic datasets are both of decreasing relevance to the modern social networking landscape and ethically troublesome regarding the preservation and publication of personal data. We present and evaluate a method which provides researchers in identity resolution with easy access to a realistically-challenging labelled dataset of online profiles, drawing on four of the currently largest and most influential online social networks. We validate the comparability of samples drawn through this method and discuss the implications of this mechanism for researchers and potential alternatives and extensions.

Week 14 2016/2017

Monday 6th February 2017

County South B89

This is a joint talk held in conjunction with The FORGE (The Forensic Linguistics Research Group)