An effective method for the protection of user health topic privacy for health information services

Zongda WU, Huawen LIU, Jian XIE, Guandong XU, Gang LI, Chenglang LU

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

With the rapid development of emerging network technologies such as cloud computing, the background server-side of public health information services is widely deployed on the untrusted cloud, which has become one of the main threats of user health privacy leakage. To this end, this paper proposes an agent-based algorithm for the protection for user privacy health topics based on identity replacement. Its basic idea is to deploy a group of intermediate agents between the server-side and the client-side, to replace the identity of each health service request issued by client users and then submit it to the server-side, thereby, making it difficult to identify the real user corresponding to each request, and then improving the security of user health topic privacy on the completely-untrusted server-sides. Then, this paper proposes a client-based algorithm for the selection of intermediate agents, which evenly distributes the request data issued by client users to all the agents after topic identification and privacy computation for the request data, to improve the security of user health topic privacy on the incompletely-trusted agent-side. Finally, both theoretical analysis and experimental evaluation demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method, i.e., it can effectively improve the security of user privacy health topics on the untrusted server-side, under the premises of no changes to user usage habits, server-side architecture, service algorithm, service accuracy and service efficiency, so as to provide a theoretical and technical foundation for building a privacy-preserving platform for public health information services. Copyright © 2023 The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3837-3859
JournalWorld Wide Web
Volume26
Early online dateSept 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023

Citation

Wu, Z., Liu, H., Xie, J., Xu, G., Li, G., & Lu, C. (2023). An effective method for the protection of user health topic privacy for health information services. World Wide Web, 26, 3837-3859. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11280-023-01208-5

Keywords

  • Health information
  • Health services
  • User privacy
  • Privacy protection
  • Privacy model

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