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Joint optimisation of privacy and cost of in-app mobile user profiling and targeted ads

by   Imdad Ullah, et al.

Online mobile advertising ecosystems provide advertising and analytics services that collect, aggregate, process and trade rich amount of consumer's personal data and carries out interests-based ads targeting, which raised serious privacy risks and growing trends of users feeling uncomfortable while using internet services. In this paper, we address user's privacy concerns by developing an optimal dynamic optimisation cost-effective framework for preserving user privacy for profiling, ads-based inferencing, temporal apps usage behavioral patterns and interest-based ads targeting. A major challenge in solving this dynamic model is the lack of knowledge of time-varying updates during profiling process. We formulate a mixed-integer optimisation problem and develop an equivalent problem to show that proposed algorithm does not require knowledge of time-varying updates in user behavior. Following, we develop an online control algorithm to solve equivalent problem using Lyapunov optimisation and to overcome difficulty of solving nonlinear programming by decomposing it into various cases and achieve trade-off between user privacy, cost and targeted ads. We carry out extensive experimentations and demonstrate proposed framework's applicability by implementing its critical components using POC `System App'. We compare proposed framework with other privacy protecting approaches and investigate that it achieves better privacy and functionality for various performance parameters.


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