G. Cormode and D. Srivastava. Anonymized data: Generation, models, usage, Mar. 2010. Tutorial at ICDE 2010.

Data anonymization techniques have been the subject of intense investigation in recent years, for many kinds of structured data, including tabular, graph and item set data. They enable publication of detailed information, which permits ad hoc queries and analyses, while guaranteeing the privacy of sensitive information in the data against a variety of attacks. In this tutorial, we aim to present a unified framework of data anonymization techniques, viewed through the lens of uncertainty. Essentially, anonymized data describes a set of possible worlds, one of which corresponds to the original data. We show that anonymization approaches such as suppression, generalization, perturbation and permutation generate different working models of uncertain data, some of which have been well studied, while others open new directions for research. We demonstrate that the privacy guarantees offered by methods such as k-anonymization and l-diversity can be naturally understood in terms of similarities and differences in the sets of possible worlds that correspond to the anonymized data. We describe how the body of work in query evaluation over uncertain databases can be used for answering ad hoc queries over anonymized data in a principled manner. A key benefit of the unified approach is the identification of a rich set of new problems for both the Data Anonymization and the Uncertain Data communities.

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