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We propose GoldFinger, a new compact and fast-to-compute binary representation of datasets to approximate Jaccard’s index. We illustrate the effectiveness of GoldFinger on the emblematic big data problem of K-Nearest-Neighbor (KNN) graph construction and show that GoldFinger can drastically accelerate a large range of existing KNN algorithms with little to no overhead. As a side effect, we also show that the compact representation of the data protects users’ privacy for free by providing k-anonymity and l-diversity. Our extensive evaluation of the resulting approach on several realistic datasets shows that our approach delivers speedups of up to 78.9% compared to the use of raw data while only incurring a negligible to moderate loss in terms of KNN quality. To convey the practical value of such a scheme, we apply it to item recommendation and show that the loss in recommendation quality is negligible.