On May 7th, 2015, Dr. Ángel Cuevas Rumín, Assistant Professor at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, member of the consortium developing TYPES, gave a talk at the Xerox Research Centre Europe entitled “I Can Infer Where You Live: A Location Prediction Approach Using Facebook Profile Public Information”.
Its focus was on the On-line Social Networks which leak a substantial amount of private information from the users registered in those systems. Although a user can proactively protect some private item (e.g., location, employ, interests, etc) by making them private in their OSN profile, this does not guarantee that this information can be uncovered using: (i) other profile attributes, (ii) public information available in the OSN profiles of friends.
The talk analyzed the amount of information publicly disclosed in Facebook and proposed a model that very accurately obtains the “Current City” (i.e., user location) for Facebook users that has hidden that information. The previous model was then used to propose a “Current City Exposure Estimator” that informs Facebook users of the probability that a third party can retrieve their “Current City” information even in the case it is not public in their profile. This estimator serves us to inform Facebook users on what countermeasures they could take to reduce their “Current City” exposure.