Universiteit Leiden

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Hackathon about anonymity in social networks was a great success

How anonymous is an individual in a social network? And is it possible for hackers to extract sensitive information from data? These were the main topics of the hackathon organized by POPNET and the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) on May 3 at the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science.

By looking at openly available data from Facebook, for example, students had to derive the social network of different volunteers. In doing so, they looked for links that provide information, such as Facebook friends, Instagram followers and connections on LinkedIn. This allowed them to build a network around the volunteer. The results provide insight into what network information one can derive from public data, and thus the extent to which people in social networks are truly anonymous.

Read about the hackathon on the POPNET website
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