Provided by: Elsevier
Web Search Engines (WSE) has become an essential tool for searching information on the internet. In order to provide personalized search results for the users, WSEs store all the queries which have been submitted by the users and the search results which they have selected. The AOL scandal proved that this information contains personally identifiable information which represents a privacy threat for the users who have generated it. In this way, AOL released a file containing twenty million queries made by 658.000 persons and several of those users were successfully tracked. In this paper, the authors propose a P2P protocol that exploits social networks in order to protect the privacy of the users from the profiling mechanisms of the WSEs.