Debiasing Learning for Membership Inference Attacks Against Recommender Systems

by   Zihan Wang, et al.

Learned recommender systems may inadvertently leak information about their training data, leading to privacy violations. We investigate privacy threats faced by recommender systems through the lens of membership inference. In such attacks, an adversary aims to infer whether a user's data is used to train the target recommender. To achieve this, previous work has used a shadow recommender to derive training data for the attack model, and then predicts the membership by calculating difference vectors between users' historical interactions and recommended items. State-of-the-art methods face two challenging problems: (1) training data for the attack model is biased due to the gap between shadow and target recommenders, and (2) hidden states in recommenders are not observational, resulting in inaccurate estimations of difference vectors. To address the above limitations, we propose a Debiasing Learning for Membership Inference Attacks against recommender systems (DL-MIA) framework that has four main components: (1) a difference vector generator, (2) a disentangled encoder, (3) a weight estimator, and (4) an attack model. To mitigate the gap between recommenders, a variational auto-encoder (VAE) based disentangled encoder is devised to identify recommender invariant and specific features. To reduce the estimation bias, we design a weight estimator, assigning a truth-level score for each difference vector to indicate estimation accuracy. We evaluate DL-MIA against both general recommenders and sequential recommenders on three real-world datasets. Experimental results show that DL-MIA effectively alleviates training and estimation biases simultaneously, and achieves state-of-the-art attack performance.


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