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An approach for the protection of users’ book browsing preference privacy in a digital library

Zongda Wu (Oujiang College, Wenzhou University, Wenzhou, China)
Chengren Zheng (Wenzhou University, Wenzhou, China)
Jian Xiejian (Wenzhou University, Wenzhou, China)
Zhifeng Zhou (Wenzhou University, Wenzhou, China)
Guandong Xu (University of Technology, Sydney, Australia)
Enhong Chen (University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China)

The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Article publication date: 30 October 2018

Issue publication date: 12 November 2018



The problem of privacy protection in digital libraries is causing people to have increasingly extensive concerns. This study aims to design an approach to protect the preference privacy behind users’ book browsing behaviors in a digital library.


This paper proposes a client-based approach, whose basic idea is to construct a group of plausible book browsing dummy behaviors, and submit them together with users’ true behaviors to the untrusted server, to cover up users’ sensitive preferences.


Both security analysis and evaluation experiment demonstrate the effectiveness of the approach, which can ensure the privacy security of users’ book browsing preferences on the untrusted digital library server, without compromising the usability, accuracy and efficiency of book services.


To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this paper provides the first attempt to the protection of users’ behavior privacy in digital libraries, which will have a positive influence on the development of privacy-preserving libraries in the new network era.



Wu, Z., Zheng, C., Xiejian, J., Zhou, Z., Xu, G. and Chen, E. (2018), "An approach for the protection of users’ book browsing preference privacy in a digital library", The Electronic Library, Vol. 36 No. 6, pp. 1154-1166.



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