Privacy Policy Negotiation in Social Media

Jose M. Such, Michael Rovatsos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Citations (Scopus)


Social media involve many shared items, such as photos, which may concern more than one user. The challenge is that users’ individual privacy preferences for the same item may conflict, so an approach that simply merges in some way the users’ privacy preferences may provide unsatisfactory results. Previous proposals to deal with the problem were either time-consuming or did not consider compromises to solve these conflicts (e.g., by considering unilaterally imposed approaches only). We propose a negotiation mechanism for users to agree on a compromise for these conflicts. The second challenge we address in this article relates to the exponential complexity of such a negotiation mechanism. To address this, we propose heuristics that reduce the complexity of the negotiation mechanism and show how substantial benefits can be derived from the use of these heuristics through extensive experimental evaluation that compares the performance of the negotiation mechanism with and without these heuristics. Moreover, we show that one such heuristic makes the negotiation mechanism produce results fast enough to be used in actual social media infrastructures with near-optimal results.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4
Issue number1
Early online date28 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016


  • Design
  • Algorithms
  • Performance Social media
  • privacy
  • conflicts
  • intimacy
  • social networking services
  • online social networks


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