ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0522.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Geoinformatics Keywords: privacy; social media; data retention; hyperloglog
Online: 28 December 2022 (01:25:25 CET)
Social media data is widely used to gain insights about social incidents, whether on a local or global scale. Within the process of analyzing and evaluating the data, it is common practice to download and store it locally. Considerations about privacy protection of social media users are often neglected thereby. However, protecting privacy when dealing with personal data is demanded by laws and ethics. In this paper we introduce a method to store social media data using the cardinality estimator HyperLogLog. Based on an exemplary disaster management scenario, we show that social media data can be analyzed by counting occurrences of posts, without becoming in possession of the actual raw data. For social media data analyses like these, that are based on counting occurrences, cardinality estimation suffices the task. Thus, the risk of abuse, loss or public exposure of the data can be mitigated and privacy of social media users can be preserved. The ability to do unions and intersections on multiple data sets further encourages the use of this technology. We provide a proof-of-concept implementation for our introduced method, using data provided by the Twitter API.
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: disaster management; virtual operation support teams; privacy; data retention; hyperloglog; focus group discussion
Online: 1 October 2020 (13:58:16 CEST)
Social media data is heavily used to analyze and evaluate situations in times of disasters, and derive decisions for action from it. A cruicial part of the analysis is to avoid unnecessary data retention during that process, in order to prevent subsequent abuse, theft or public exposure of collected datasets and thus, protect the privacy of social media users. There are a number of technical approaches out to face the problem. One of them is using a cardinality estimation algorithm called HyperLogLog to store data in a privacy-aware structure, that can not be used for purposes other than the originally intended. In this case study, we developed and conducted a focus group discussion with teams of social media analysts, in which we identified challenges and opportunities of working with such a privacy-enhanced social media data structure in place of conventional techniques. Our findings show that, with the exception of training scenarios, deploying HyperLogLog in the data acquisiton process will not distract the data analysis process. Instead, it will improve working with huge datasets due to the improved characteristics of the resulting data structure.