Logical Foundations of Linked Data Anonymisation

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Bernardo Cuenca Grau
Egor V. Kostylev


The widespread adoption of the Linked Data paradigm has been driven by the increasing demand for information exchange between organisations, as well as by regulations in domains such as health care and governance that require certain data to be published. In this setting, sensitive information is at high risk of disclosure since published data can be often seamlessly linked
with arbitrary external data sources.

In this paper we lay the logical foundations of anonymisation in the context of Linked Data. We consider anonymisations of RDF graphs (and, more generally, relational datasets with labelled nulls) and define notions of policy-compliant and linkage-safe anonymisations. Policy compliance ensures that an anonymised dataset does not reveal any sensitive information as specified by a policy query. Linkage safety ensures that an anonymised dataset remains compliant even if it is linked to (possibly unknown) external datasets available on the Web, thus providing provable protection guarantees against data linkage attacks. We establish the computational complexity of the underpinning decision problems both under the open-world semantics inherent to RDF and under the assumption that an attacker has complete, closed-world knowledge over some parts of the original data.

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