Visible to the public Biblio

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Cormode, Graham, Jha, Somesh, Kulkarni, Tejas, Li, Ninghui, Srivastava, Divesh, Wang, Tianhao.  2018.  Privacy at Scale: Local Differential Privacy in Practice. Proceedings of the 2018 International Conference on Management of Data. :1655–1658.
Local differential privacy (LDP), where users randomly perturb their inputs to provide plausible deniability of their data without the need for a trusted party, has been adopted recently by several major technology organizations, including Google, Apple and Microsoft. This tutorial aims to introduce the key technical underpinnings of these deployed systems, to survey current research that addresses related problems within the LDP model, and to identify relevant open problems and research directions for the community.
He, Xi, Machanavajjhala, Ashwin, Flynn, Cheryl, Srivastava, Divesh.  2017.  Composing Differential Privacy and Secure Computation: A Case Study on Scaling Private Record Linkage. Proceedings of the 2017 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security. :1389–1406.

Private record linkage (PRL) is the problem of identifying pairs of records that are similar as per an input matching rule from databases held by two parties that do not trust one another. We identify three key desiderata that a PRL solution must ensure: (1) perfect precision and high recall of matching pairs, (2) a proof of end-to-end privacy, and (3) communication and computational costs that scale subquadratically in the number of input records. We show that all of the existing solutions for PRL? including secure 2-party computation (S2PC), and their variants that use non-private or differentially private (DP) blocking to ensure subquadratic cost – violate at least one of the three desiderata. In particular, S2PC techniques guarantee end-to-end privacy but have either low recall or quadratic cost. In contrast, no end-to-end privacy guarantee has been formalized for solutions that achieve subquadratic cost. This is true even for solutions that compose DP and S2PC: DP does not permit the release of any exact information about the databases, while S2PC algorithms for PRL allow the release of matching records. In light of this deficiency, we propose a novel privacy model, called output constrained differential privacy, that shares the strong privacy protection of DP, but allows for the truthful release of the output of a certain function applied to the data. We apply this to PRL, and show that protocols satisfying this privacy model permit the disclosure of the true matching records, but their execution is insensitive to the presence or absence of a single non-matching record. We find that prior work that combine DP and S2PC techniques even fail to satisfy this end-to-end privacy model. Hence, we develop novel protocols that provably achieve this end-to-end privacy guarantee, together with the other two desiderata of PRL. Our empirical evaluation also shows that our protocols obtain high recall, scale near linearly in the size of the input databases and the output set of matching pairs, and have communication and computational costs that are at least 2 orders of magnitude smaller than S2PC baselines.

Zhang, Jun, Cormode, Graham, Procopiuc, Cecilia M., Srivastava, Divesh, Xiao, Xiaokui.  2017.  PrivBayes: Private Data Release via Bayesian Networks. ACM Trans. Database Syst.. 42:25:1–25:41.
Privacy-preserving data publishing is an important problem that has been the focus of extensive study. The state-of-the-art solution for this problem is differential privacy, which offers a strong degree of privacy protection without making restrictive assumptions about the adversary. Existing techniques using differential privacy, however, cannot effectively handle the publication of high-dimensional data. In particular, when the input dataset contains a large number of attributes, existing methods require injecting a prohibitive amount of noise compared to the signal in the data, which renders the published data next to useless. To address the deficiency of the existing methods, this paper presents PrivBayes, a differentially private method for releasing high-dimensional data. Given a dataset D, PrivBayes first constructs a Bayesian network N, which (i) provides a succinct model of the correlations among the attributes in D and (ii) allows us to approximate the distribution of data in D using a set P of low-dimensional marginals of D. After that, PrivBayes injects noise into each marginal in P to ensure differential privacy and then uses the noisy marginals and the Bayesian network to construct an approximation of the data distribution in D. Finally, PrivBayes samples tuples from the approximate distribution to construct a synthetic dataset, and then releases the synthetic data. Intuitively, PrivBayes circumvents the curse of dimensionality, as it injects noise into the low-dimensional marginals in P instead of the high-dimensional dataset D. Private construction of Bayesian networks turns out to be significantly challenging, and we introduce a novel approach that uses a surrogate function for mutual information to build the model more accurately. We experimentally evaluate PrivBayes on real data and demonstrate that it significantly outperforms existing solutions in terms of accuracy.