PhD proposal: Privacy protection against inference attacks in social networks

Title: Privacy protection against inference attacks in social networks

Location: LORIA /INRIA — Nancy, France

Project-team: PESTO

Scientific Context: The majority of social networks (like Facebook, LinkedIn, etc) provide control functions to limit the visibility of certain data (such as friend list, wall posts and images) to a specific user group. However, most of users are unaware of the risks associated with the publication and exchange of personal data on social networks. For example, publishing and sharing location information on Facebook could easily lead to a burglary. Privacy risks may arise from explicit and/or implicit information that we can learn from online data. These risks due to data sharing are constantly increasing, allowing privacy attacks with unfortunate consequences. Therefore  it is imperative to devise tools that allow users to control themselves the usage that their data can be destined to. These tools assist users to detect and minimize the dissemination of personal information.

– Missions: The PhD student is expected to contribute to the design, analysis and development of an original solution for protecting privacy in social networks. By combining recent advances in machine learning and algorithmic, the objective is to prevent sensitive information dissemination.

More information is available on request.

Key words: Social networks, Privacy, Anonymization, Link prediction, Inference attack, Machine learning

Skills and profile: We are looking for a candidate who meets the following requirements:

– a MSc or equivalent in Computer Science;

– strong background in some of the directly relevant area (algorithmic, machine learning, statistics, security and privacy, data-mining);

– experience in developing prototypes;

– good oral and written communications skills.

Additional information:

Supervision and contact:

Abdessamad Imine

Pesto Team

Université de Lorraine & LORIA-INRIA, Nancy, France

Tel: +33 (0)354958535



Michaël Rusinowitch

Pesto Team

LORIA-INRIA, Nancy, France

Tel: +33 (0)383593020


Duration: 3 years

Starting date: between July. 1st 2018 and Oct. 1st 2018
Salary: 1 958 euros gross monthly (about 1 580 euros net) during the first and the second years.
2 059 euros the last year (about 1 661 euros net). Medical insurance is included.

The required documents for applying are the following :

– CV;

– a motivation letter;

– your degree certificates and transcripts for Bachelor and Master (or the last 5 years if not applicable).

– Master thesis (or equivalent) if it is already completed, or a description of the work in progress, otherwise;

– all your publications, if any (it is not expected that you have any).

– At least one recommendation letter from the person who supervises(d) your Master thesis (or research project or internship); you can also send at most two other recommendation letters.

The recommendation letter(s) should be sent directly by their author to the prospective PhD advisor.

All the documents should be sent in at most 2 pdf files; one file should contain the publications, if any, the other file should contain all the other documents. These two files should be sent to your prospective PhD advisor (in addition to the application on the web).


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