cispa_all_1443.pdf (1.07 MB)

Tagvisor: A Privacy Advisor for Sharing Hashtags

Download (1.07 MB)
conference contribution
posted on 2023-11-29, 18:08 authored by Yang ZhangYang Zhang, Mathias Humbert, Tahleen Rahman, Cheng-Te Li, Jun Pang, Michael BackesMichael Backes
Hashtag has emerged as a widely used concept of popular culture and campaigns, but its implications on people’s privacy have not been investigated so far. In this paper, we present the first systematic analysis of privacy issues induced by hashtags. We concentrate in particular on location, which is recognized as one of the key privacy concerns in the Internet era. By relying on a random forest model, we show that we can infer a user’s precise location from hashtags with accuracy of 70% to 76%, depending on the city. To remedy this situation, we introduce a system called Tagvisor that systematically suggests alternative hashtags if the user-selected ones constitute a threat to location privacy. Tagvisor realizes this by means of three conceptually different obfuscation techniques and a semantics-based metric for measuring the consequent utility loss. Our findings show that obfuscating as little as two hashtags already provides a near-optimal trade-off between privacy and utility in our dataset. This in particular renders Tagvisor highly time-efficient, and thus, practical in real-world settings.


Preferred Citation

Yang Zhang, Mathias Humbert, Tahleen Rahman, Cheng-Te Li, Jun Pang and Michael Backes. Tagvisor: A Privacy Advisor for Sharing Hashtags. In: The Web Conference (WWW). 2018.

Primary Research Area

  • Trustworthy Information Processing

Name of Conference

The Web Conference (WWW)

Legacy Posted Date


Open Access Type

  • Unknown


@inproceedings{cispa_all_1443, title = "Tagvisor: A Privacy Advisor for Sharing Hashtags", author = "Zhang, Yang and Humbert, Mathias and Rahman, Tahleen and Li, Cheng-Te and Pang, Jun and Backes, Michael", booktitle="{The Web Conference (WWW)}", year="2018", }

Usage metrics


    No categories selected


    Ref. manager