World Wide Web

, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 2853–2881 | Cite as

Towards privacy preserving social recommendation under personalized privacy settings

  • Xuying Meng
  • Suhang Wang
  • Kai Shu
  • Jundong Li
  • Bo Chen
  • Huan Liu
  • Yujun ZhangEmail author
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Special Issue on Social Computing and Big Data Applications


Privacy leakage is an important issue for social relationships-based recommender systems (i.e., social recommendation). Existing privacy preserving social recommendation approaches usually allow the recommender to fully control users’ information. This may be problematic since the recommender itself may be untrusted, leading to serious privacy leakage. Besides, building social relationships requires sharing interests as well as other private information, which may lead to more privacy leakage. Although sometimes users are allowed to hide their sensitive private data using personalized privacy settings, the data being shared can still be abused by the adversaries to infer sensitive private information. Supporting social recommendation with least privacy leakage to untrusted recommender and other users (i.e., friends) is an important yet challenging problem. In this paper, we aim to achieve privacy-preserving social recommendation under personalized privacy settings. We propose PrivSR, a novel privacy-preserving social recommendation framework, in which user can model user feedbacks and social relationships privately. Meanwhile, by allocating different noise magnitudes to personalized sensitive and non-sensitive feedbacks, we can protect users’ privacy against untrusted recommender and friends. Theoretical analysis and experimental evaluation on real-world datasets demonstrate that our framework can protect users’ privacy while being able to retain effectiveness of the underlying recommender system.


Differential privacy Social recommendation Ranking Personalized privacy settings 



This work is supported by, or in part by, National Science Foundation of China (61672500, 61572474), and Program of International S&T Cooperation (2016YFE0121500). Suhang Wang and Huan Liu are supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under the grant #1614576 and Office of Naval Research (ONR) under the grant N00014-16-1-2257.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xuying Meng
    • 1
  • Suhang Wang
    • 2
  • Kai Shu
    • 2
  • Jundong Li
    • 2
  • Bo Chen
    • 3
  • Huan Liu
    • 2
  • Yujun Zhang
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Computing TechnologyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  3. 3.Department of Computer ScienceMichigan Technological UniversityHoughtonUSA
  4. 4.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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