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Private Delivery Networks – Extended Abstract

by   Alex Berke, et al.

The past decade has seen tremendous shifts in how people live, work, and buy goods, with an increased reliance on e-commerce and deliveries. Purchase histories generated through e-commerce can be highly personal, revealing identifying information about individuals and households. Constructing profiles from these data allows for the targeting of individuals and communities through practices such as targeted marketing and information campaigns. Furthermore, when purchase profiles are connected with delivery addresses, these data can measure the demographics of a local community and allow for individualized targeting to reach beyond the digital realm to the physical one. Events that accelerated shifts towards e-commerce, such as an infectious disease epidemic, have also widened equity gaps. This work is about alternative e-commerce delivery network models that address both rising privacy and wealth inequality concerns. This includes strategies that mask and add noise to purchase histories, and allow people to "buy privacy" through charitable contributions.


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