Camouflage: Automated Anonymization of Field Data

James Clause and Alessandro Orso
University of Delaware, USA; Georgia Institute of Technology, USA

Privacy and security concerns have adversely affected the usefulness of many types of techniques that leverage information gathered from deployed applications. To address this issue, we present an approach for automatically anonymizing failure-inducing inputs that builds on a previously developed technique. Given an input I that causes a failure f, our approach generates an anonymized input I' that is different from I but still causes f. I' can thus be sent to developers to enable them to debug f without having to know I. We implemented our approach in a prototype tool, camouflage, and performed an extensive empirical evaluation where we applied camouflage to a large set of failure-inducing inputs for several real applications. The results of the evaluation are promising, as they show that camouflage is both practical and effective at generating anonymized inputs; for the inputs that we considered, I and I' shared no sensitive information. The results also show that our approach can outperform the general technique it extends.