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Privacy Heroes Need Data Disguises

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Providing privacy in complex, data-rich applications is hard. Deleting accounts, anonymizing an account’s contributions, and other privacy-related actions may require the traversal and transformation of interwoven state in a relational database. Finding the affected data is already nontrivial, but privacy actions must additionally balance competing requirements, such as preserving data trails for legal reasons or allowing users to change their mind. We believe a systematic shared framework for specifying and implementing privacy transformations could simplify and empower applications. Our prototype, data disguising, supports fine-grained, nuanced, and useful policies that would be cumbersome to implement manually, including reversible transformations that can compose.