Cachet: A decentralized architecture for privacy preserving social networking with caching

Shirin Nilizadeh, Sonia Jahid, Prateek Mittal, Nikita Borisov, Apu Kapadia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

68 Scopus citations

Abstract

Online social networks (OSNs) such as Facebook and Google+ have transformed the way our society communicates. However, this success has come at the cost of user privacy; in today's OSNs, users are not in control of their own data, and depend on OSN operators to enforce access control policies. A multitude of privacy breaches has spurred research into privacy-preserving alternatives for social networking, exploring a number of techniques for storing, disseminating, and controlling access to data in a decentralized fashion. In this paper, we argue that a combination of techniques is necessary to efficiently support the complex functionality requirements of OSNs. We propose Cachet, an architecture that provides strong security and privacy guarantees while preserving the main functionality of online social networks. In particular, Cachet protects the confidentiality, integrity and availability of user content, as well as the privacy of user relationships. Cachet uses a distributed pool of nodes to store user data and ensure availability. Storage nodes in Cachet are untrusted; we leverage cryptographic techniques such as attribute-based encryption to protect the confidentiality of data. For efficient dissemination and retrieval of data, Cachet uses a hybrid structured-unstructured overlay paradigm in which a conventional distributed hash table is augmented with social links between users. Social contacts in our system act as caches to store recent updates in the social network, and help reduce the cryptographic as well as the communication overhead in the network. We built a prototype implementation of Cachet in the FreePastry simulator. To demonstrate the functionality of existing OSNs we implemented the 'newsfeed' application. Our evaluation demonstrates that (a) decentralized architectures for privacy preserving social networking are feasible, and (b) use of social contacts for object caching results in significant performance improvements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCoNEXT 2012 - Proceedings of the 2012 ACM Conference on Emerging Networking Experiments and Technologies
Pages337-348
Number of pages12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event8th ACM International Conference on Emerging Networking EXperiments and Technologies, CoNEXT 2012 - Nice, France
Duration: Dec 10 2012Dec 13 2012

Publication series

NameCoNEXT 2012 - Proceedings of the 2012 ACM Conference on Emerging Networking Experiments and Technologies

Other

Other8th ACM International Conference on Emerging Networking EXperiments and Technologies, CoNEXT 2012
CountryFrance
CityNice
Period12/10/1212/13/12

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications

Keywords

  • Caching
  • Peer-to-peer systems
  • Privacy
  • Social networking

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  • Cite this

    Nilizadeh, S., Jahid, S., Mittal, P., Borisov, N., & Kapadia, A. (2012). Cachet: A decentralized architecture for privacy preserving social networking with caching. In CoNEXT 2012 - Proceedings of the 2012 ACM Conference on Emerging Networking Experiments and Technologies (pp. 337-348). (CoNEXT 2012 - Proceedings of the 2012 ACM Conference on Emerging Networking Experiments and Technologies). https://doi.org/10.1145/2413176.2413215