Trust2Privacy: a novel fuzzy trust-to-privacy mechanism for mobile social networks

Guangquan Xu, Bingyan Liu, Litao Jiao, Xiaotong Li, Meiqi Feng, Kaitai Liang, Lei Ma, Xi Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Mobile social applications have been widely used by Internet users. Users can efficiently acquire many kinds of information and share their statuses by various social platforms. However, when a user intends to share information through the user's social applications, the user can set the access permission only before the information is posted. Once the information is posted, it is completely beyond the user's control. Specifically, during the recommendation process (for friend or information) in social applications, a user cannot control who can get the recommendation and access his/her information. If one user is accessed by another malicious user, his/her privacy information can be disclosed, and even be further misused for malicious attacks. In this article, we propose Trust2Privacy, a trust-based access control mechanism to protect the personalized privacy of users after posting their information, which can effectively realize the transformation from trust to privacy. First, to represent the relations accurately among users, we define the direction of trust among users according to the user-follow status. Then we combine the similarity, correlation, and interaction among users to calculate the trust values. Considering the fuzzy relationship between the multi-dimensional features and trust levels, we propose a fuzzy comprehensive evaluation algorithm to compute the fuzzy trust. Moreover, for the sake of the high mobility of mobile social networks, we exploit so-called online-to-offline trust evidence to derive the trust value, including taking the location information (e.g., distance, semantics) into consideration. To meet the personalized privacy requirement, we design a filtering algorithm based on the trust relationships and the privacy policy of the target users or posted information, according to which the access requesters can get the list of accessible users or information. This enables achieving the goal of personalized privacy protection. The theoretical analysis and simulation experiment demonstrate that Trust2Privacy is able to achieve personalized privacy protection without bringing negative impact on the availability and usability of mobile social applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-78
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Wireless Communications
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


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