International Association for Cryptologic Research

Ph.D. Database

The aim of the IACR Ph.D. database is twofold. On the first hand, we want to offer an overview of Ph.D. already completed in the domain of cryptology. Where possible, this should also include a subject classification, an abstract, and access to the full text. On the second hand, it deals with Ph.D. subjects currently under investigation. This way, we provide a timely map of contemporary research in cryptology. All entries or changes need to be approved by an editor. You can contact them via phds (at)


Ero Balsa (#658)
Name Ero Balsa
Personal Homepage
Topic of his/her doctorate. Privacy in online social networks: analysis and solutions
Category applications
Keywords privacy, social networks
Ph.D. Supervisor(s) Claudia Diaz, Bart Preneel

Online social networks have revolutionized the way people communicate, meet, share information, and socialize both in their private and professional lives. Although these developments have brought unquestionable benefits to society, users are increasingly worried about the lack of control over their private information. The ease with which information is propagated over the Internet has led to a new reality where the acquisition of personal data is easier than never before. Solutions that provide users with the ability to benefit from social networking technologies while offering well-understood privacy properties have not yet been developed.

To better understand privacy risks in social networks I will develop methodologies to systematically analyze these risks by capturing information leakages in the various components of the system, including content as well as traffic data. This will involve defining models for user behavior, adversarial knowledge and capabilities, as well as metrics to quantify the degree to which privacy requirements are satisfied. Based on the understanding of how privacy breaches are enabled by information flows in social networks, I will study countermeasures that enable people to access networking services and interact with each other in a privacy-preserving manner.

Furthermore, the naive perception of control over our personal data leads oftentimes to underestimate the role of other agents that have access and control over those data. The most privacy-aware and careful user can see her privacy undermined by the actions of other people (e.g., relatives or friends). This thesis will pay special attention to determining how a user's behavior impacts other users' privacy and providing the latter (if applicable) means of regaining control over it.
E-Mail Address ero.balsa (at)
Last Change 2011-08-20 04:16:17
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