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Utility-Privacy Tradeoffs in Databases: An Information-Theoretic Approach

Author(s): Sankar, Lalitha; Rajagopalan, S Raj; Poor, H Vincent

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Abstract: Ensuring the usefulness of electronic data sources while providing necessary privacy guarantees is an important unsolved problem. This problem drives the need for an analytical framework that can quantify the privacy of personally identifiable information while still providing a quantifiable benefit (utility) to multiple legitimate information consumers. This paper presents an information-theoretic framework that promises an analytical model guaranteeing tight bounds of how much utility is possible for a given level of privacy and vice-versa. Specific contributions include: 1) stochastic data models for both categorical and numerical data; 2) utility-privacy tradeoff regions and the encoding (sanization) schemes achieving them for both classes and their practical relevance; and 3) modeling of prior knowledge at the user and/or data source and optimal encoding schemes for both cases.
Publication Date: 19-Mar-2013
Citation: Sankar, Lalitha, Rajagopalan, S Raj, Poor, H Vincent. (2013). Utility-Privacy Tradeoffs in Databases: An Information-Theoretic Approach. IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security, 8 (6), 838 - 852. doi:10.1109/tifs.2013.2253320
DOI: doi:10.1109/tifs.2013.2253320
ISSN: 1556-6013
EISSN: 1556-6021
Pages: 838 - 852
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security
Version: Author's manuscript

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