Information-Sharing and Privacy in Social Networks

Katrina Ligett


 Monday, February 1, 2010

5130 Upson Hall



In this talk, we present a new model for reasoning about the way information is shared among friends in a social network, and the resulting ways in which it spreads. Our model formalizes the intuition that revealing personal information in social settings involves a trade-off between the benefits of sharing information with friends, and the risks that additional gossiping will propagate it to people with whom one is not on friendly terms. We study the behavior of rational agents in such a situation, and we characterize the existence and computability of stable information-sharing networks, in which agents do not have an incentive to change the partners with whom they share information. We analyze the implications of these stable networks for social welfare, and the resulting fragmentation of the social network.

Joint work with Jon Kleinberg.