Netflix paper home
This page is intended to be a collection of links about the Netflix paper. Note that I’m calling it the “Netflix” paper only for memorability; as we explain in the paper and in the FAQ, the consequences of our techniques go far beyond that dataset. Indeed, that is the reason this website was started.
We present a new class of statistical de-anonymization attacks against high-dimensional micro-data, such as individual preferences, recommendations, transaction records and so on. Our techniques are robust to perturbation in the data and tolerate some mistakes in the adversary’s background knowledge.
We apply our de-anonymization methodology to the Netflix Prize dataset, which contains anonymous movie ratings of 500,000 subscribers of Netflix, the world’s largest online movie rental service. We demonstrate that an adversary who knows only a little bit about an individual subscriber can easily identify this subscriber’s record in the dataset. Using the Internet Movie Database as the source of background knowledge, we successfully identified the Netflix records of known users, uncovering their apparent political preferences and other potentially sensitive information.
- Abridged version appeared at Oakland ’08. (pdf, slides)
- Full version: CoRR tech report
- Recent press: PET Award
From 2007: Wired, Slashdot, SecurityFocus
From 2006: New Scientist, Wired
- Netflix: the back story. (Sort of an extended Acknowledgments section for the paper.)
- Posts tagged Netflix on this blog.