A Privacy Preservation Model for Facebook-Style Social Network Systems

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Executive Summary

Recent years have seen unprecedented growth in the popularity of social network systems, with Facebook being an archetypical example. The access control paradigm behind the privacy preservation mechanism of Facebook is distinctly different from such existing access control paradigms as Discretionary Access Control, Role-Based Access Control, Capability Systems, and TrustManagement Systems. This paper takes a first step in deepening the understanding of this access control paradigm, by proposing an access control model that formalizes and generalizes the privacy preservation mechanism of Facebook. The model can be instantiated into a family of Facebook-style social network systems, each with a recognizably different access control mechanism, so that Facebook is but one instantiation of the model.

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