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Emerging Trends in Information and Communication Security

Volume 3995 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 14-29

Do You Trust Your Recommendations? An Exploration of Security and Privacy Issues in Recommender Systems

  • Shyong K. “Tony” LamAffiliated withGroupLens Research, Computer Science and Engineering, University of Minnesota
  • , Dan FrankowskiAffiliated withGroupLens Research, Computer Science and Engineering, University of Minnesota
  • , John RiedlAffiliated withGroupLens Research, Computer Science and Engineering, University of Minnesota

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Abstract

Recommender systems are widely used to help deal with the problem of information overload. However, recommenders raise serious privacy and security issues. The personal information collected by recommenders raises the risk of unwanted exposure of that information. Also, malicious users can bias or sabotage the recommendations that are provided to other users. This paper raises important research questions in three topics relating to exposure and bias in recommender systems: the value and risks of the preference information shared with a recommender, the effectiveness of shilling attacks designed to bias a recommender, and the issues involved in distributed or peer-to-peer recommenders. The goal of the paper is to bring these questions to the attention of the information and communication security community, to invite their expertise in addressing them.