Privacy-Preserving Relationship Path Discovery in Social Networks

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As social networks sites continue to proliferate and are being used for an increasing variety of purposes, the privacy risks raised by the full access of social networking sites over user data become uncomfortable. A decentralized social network would help alleviate this problem, but offering the functionalities of social networking sites is a distributed manner is a challenging problem. In this paper, the authors provide techniques to instantiate one of the core functionalities of social networks: discovery of paths between individuals. Their algorithm preserves the privacy of relationship information, and can operate offline during the path discovery phase. They simulate their algorithm on real social network topologies.