Privacy-Preserving Content-Based Recommendations through Homomorphic Encryption

Z. Erkin, M. Beye, T. Veugen, R.L. Lagendijk

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademic

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    Abstract

    By offering personalized content to users, recommender systems have become a vital tool in ecommerce and online media applications. Content-based algorithms recommend items or products to users, that are most similar to those previously purchased or consumed. Unfortunately, collecting and storing ratings, on which content-based methods rely, also poses a serious privacy risk for the customers: ratings may be very personal or revealing, and thus highly privacy sensitive. Service providers could process the collected rating data for other purposes, sell them to third parties or fail to provide adequate physical security. In this paper, we propose technological mechanisms to protect the privacy of individuals in a recommender system. Our proposal is founded on homomorphic encryption, which is used to obscure the private rating information of the customers from the service provider. While the user’s privacy is respected by the service provider, by generating recommendations using encrypted customer ratings, the service provider’s commercially valuable item-item similarities are protected against curious entities, in turn. Our proposal explores simple and efficient cryptographic techniques to generate private recommendations using a server-client model, which neither relies on (trusted) third parties, nor requires interaction with peer users. The main strength of our contribution lies in providing a highly efficient solution without resorting to unrealistic assumptions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication33rd Symposium on Information Theory in the Benelux and the 2nd Joint WIC/IEEE Symposium on Information Theory and Signal Processing in the Benelux
    PublisherWerkgemeenschap voor Informatie- en Communicatietheorie (WIC)
    Pages71-77
    Number of pages7
    ISBN (Print)978-90-365-3383-6
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    Event33rd WIC Symposium on Information Theory in the Benelux and the 2nd Joint WIC/IEEE Symposium on Information Theory and Signal Processing in the Benelux 2012 - Boekelo, Netherlands
    Duration: 24 May 201225 May 2012
    Conference number: 33

    Conference

    Conference33rd WIC Symposium on Information Theory in the Benelux and the 2nd Joint WIC/IEEE Symposium on Information Theory and Signal Processing in the Benelux 2012
    CountryNetherlands
    CityBoekelo
    Period24/05/1225/05/12

    Keywords

    • METIS-297834
    • EWI-23716
    • IR-87264

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