Access Control Models for Online Social Networks

Access Control Models for Online Social Networks

Rula Sayaf (KU Leuven, Belgium) and Dave Clarke (KU Leuven, Belgium)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 34
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3926-3.ch003
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Access control is one of the crucial aspects in information systems security. Authorizing access to resources is a fundamental process to limit potential privacy violations and protect users. The nature of personal data in online social networks (OSNs) requires a high-level of security and privacy protection. Recently, OSN-specific access control models (ACMs) have been proposed to address the particular structure, functionality and the underlying privacy issues of OSNs. In this survey chapter, the essential aspects of access control and review the fundamental classical ACMs are introduced. The specific OSNs features and review the main categories of OSN-specific ACMs are highlighted. Within each category, the most prominent ACMs and their underlying mechanisms that contribute enhancing privacy of OSNs are surveyed. Toward the end, more advanced issues of access control in OSNs are discussed. Throughout the discussion, different models and highlight open problems are contrasted. Based on these problems, the chapter is concluded by proposing requirements for future ACMs.
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Background And Preliminary Notions

Online Social Networks

A social network (SN) is a set of people connected to each other by social relationships. Offline Social Networks refer to real-world social communities. Online Social Networks (OSNs) are web-based services that offer the functionality of creating a personal representation of one’s self through which one can socialize with others. A user is represented in the OSN via a profile to which personal data can be added. An owner is a user who adds her data, referred to as objects, and can share them with others.

A main feature of OSNs is the articulation of various types of relationships between profiles to facilitate the social communication with others. The social communication includes various activities such as sharing objects, creating groups, organizing online and offline events, etc.

Users in an OSN and their relationships form a social graph. Nodes and links in the graph denote users and relationships, respectively (Carminati, Ferrari, & Perego, 2006b). Each pair of users in the graph is connected via a path of links between them. The distance between two users measures the number of links of the shortest path between the two corresponding nodes. The social graph is commonly utilized as an abstraction of OSNs upon which ACMs are formalized.

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