TheHiddenU – A Social Nexus for Privacy-Assured Personalisation Brokerage

Social networks on the Web have seen enormous growth over the past few years reaching now truly widespread adoption. Since every social network is focused on serving specific human needs, social networkers are present in a number of different networks, leading to scattered social content. This restraint view on social content carries the potential pitfall of untargeted services like indiscriminated product offers of service providers, being a major obstacle in generating revenue. This situation is aggravated by the fact that social networkers are particularly reluctant to share social content with service providers – which would be, however, necessary to enable personalization – at least as long as it is obscure and beyond their control, if and how their social content is being exploited. The main goal of our research project TheHiddenU – A Social Nexus for Privacy-Assured Personalization Brokerage is to exploit the encouraging win-win situation between social networkers and service providers with respect to personalization, by inventing semantic-based mechanisms to leverage techniques for integrating, profiling and privatising social content. The innovative character of TheHiddenU stretches over three unique but highly interwoven research goals. Firstly, TheHiddenU aims at providing a single point of access to social networks in terms of an integrated semantic representation of scattered social content by employing a hybrid integration approach for schema level and instance level. Secondly, TheHiddenU foresees semantic-based profiling mechanisms in order to discover the „hidden“ you and brokerage facilities bringing together social networkers and service providers in a controlled way, thus enabling highly personalized services. Thirdly, TheHiddenU focuses on privacy concerns by providing social networkers with awareness and ample control regarding disclosure and usage of their social content. The solutions for these challenges are realized by means of TheHiddenU prototype and provide the technical prerequisites for a brand new, sustainable business model for the Social Web „personalisation brokerage“. The method for evaluating TheHidden builds on three major pillars, comprising experiments, empirical studies, and a case study, which will be conducted in cooperation with our demonstrators. Thus, TheHiddenU will represent a research test bed as well as an industrial showcase for further commercial exploitation.

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01.09.2010 - 31.08.2013


Funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT) and FFG under grant FIT-IT-825070.


Manuel Wimmer
Privatdoz. Mag.rer.soc.oec. Dr.rer.soc.oec.
Martin Wischenbart
Dipl.-Ing. B.Sc.
    Gerti Kappel
    Gerti Kappel Mag.a techn.