Privacy-Enhancing k-Anonymization of Customer Data

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CitationIn Proc. of the 24th ACM Symposium on Principles of Database Systems, 2005
AuthorsSheng Zhong
Zhiqiang Yang
Rebecca N. Wright


In order to protect individuals' privacy, the technique of k-anonymization has been proposed to de-associate sensitive attributes from the corresponding identifiers. In this paper, we provide privacy-enhancing methods for creating k-anonymous tables in a distributed scenario. Specifically, we consider a setting in which there is a set of customers, each of whom has a row of a table, and a miner, who wants to mine the entire table. Our objective is to design protocols that allow the miner to obtain a k-anonymous table representing the customer data, in such a way that does not reveal any extra information that can be used to link sensitive attributes to corresponding identifiers, and without requiring a central authority who has access to all the original data. We give two different formulations of this problem, with provably private solutions. Our solutions enhance the privacy of k-anonymization in the distributed scenario by maintaining end-to-end privacy from the original customer data to the final k-anonymous results.

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