Using Anonymized Data for Classification


In recent years, anonymization methods have emerged as an important tool to preserve individual privacy when releasing privacy sensitive data sets. This interest in anonymization techniques has resulted in a plethora of methods for anonymizing data under different privacy and utility assumptions. At the same time, there has been little research addressing how to effectively use the anonymized data for data mining in general and for distributed data mining in particular. In this paper, we propose a new approach for building classifiers using anonymized data by modeling anonymized data as uncertain data. In our method, we do not assume any probability distribution over the data. Instead, we propose collecting all necessary statistics during anonymization and releasing these together with the anonymized data. We show that releasing such statistics does not violate anonymity. Experiments spanning various alternatives both in local and distributed data mining settings reveal that our method performs better than heuristic approaches for handling anonymized data.


anonymization, privacy, utility assumptions, classifiers

Date of this Version



ICDE '09 Proceedings of the 2009 IEEE International Conference on Data Engineering