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Automated PII Extraction from Social Media for Raising Privacy Awareness: a Deep Transfer Learning Approach

EasyChair Preprint no. 7051

6 pagesDate: November 16, 2021


Internet users have been exposing an increasing amount of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) on social media. Such exposed PII can be exploited by cybercriminals and cause severe losses to the users. Informing users of their PII exposure is crucial to raise their privacy awareness and encourage them to take protective measures. To this end, advanced techniques are needed to extract users’ exposed PII in social media automatically, whereas most existing studies remain manual. While Information Extraction (IE) techniques can be used to extract the PII automatically, Deep Learning (DL)-based IE models alleviate the need for feature engineering and further improve the efficiency. However, DL-based IE models often require large-scale labeled data for training, but PII-labeled social media posts are difficult to obtain due to privacy concerns. Also, these models rely heavily on pre-trained word embeddings, while PII in social media often varies in forms and thus has no fixed representations in pre-trained word embeddings. In this study, we propose the Deep Transfer Learning for PII Extraction (DTL-PIIE) framework to address these two limitations. DTL-PIIE transfers knowledge learned from publicly available PII data to social media to address the problem of rare PII-labeled data. Moreover, our framework leverages Graph Convolutional Networks (GCNs) to incorporate syntactic patterns to guide PIIE without relying on pre-trained word embeddings. Evaluation against benchmark IE models indicates that our approach outperforms state-of-the-art DL-based IE models. Our framework can facilitate various applications, such as PII misuse prediction and privacy risk assessment, protecting the privacy of internet users.

Keyphrases: Deep Transfer Learning, Information Extraction, PII, Privacy, social media

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {Yizhi Liu and Fang Yu Lin and Mohammadreza Ebrahimi and Weifeng Li and Hsinchun Chen},
  title = {Automated PII Extraction from Social Media for Raising Privacy Awareness: a Deep Transfer Learning Approach},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 7051},

  year = {EasyChair, 2021}}
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