Security

Pythia: A Privacy Aware, Peer-to-Peer Network for Social Search

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Executive Summary

Social search systems such as Aardvark and Facebook Questions allow users to pose questions to their social network in real time. Upon receiving a question on a particular topic, Aardvark for example forwards the question to available "Experts" close to the querier in the social network to facilitate immediate, relevant answers to questions that prove too complex for web searches, e.g., when "Googling it" is not likely to yield adequate answers. While such systems have tremendous potential to tap into expertise, they are monolithic and do not provide adequate privacy. For example, Aardvark and Facebook have complete knowledge of the social network's structure, and users cannot pose anonymous queries or hide their areas of expertise.

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