Sharing Knowledge without Sharing Data (Stockholm)

On the false choice between the privacy and utility of information

A common misconception that dominates our society is the belief that data sharing is a prerequisite to knowledge sharing. This is often translated into a false choice between data utility and data privacy, resulting in handicapping our ability to fully leverage data or else sacrificing privacy and confidentiality. In this talk, Professor Azer Bestavros will argue for an alternative tack that allows knowledge extraction from one or more data sets, which remain otherwise private, using a cryptographic technique called secure multi-party computation (MPC).
Azer will introduce the concept of MPC by sharing his experience in deploying the technology for a study of the gender pay gap in Boston based on actual, confidential payroll data from hundreds of employers that cover tens of thousands of employees. Next, he will provide an overview of projects pursued to enable the use of MPC in various settings and under different assumptions, including incorporation of optimized MPC implementations of common algorithms into software libraries and the integration of MPC into existing big-data workflow management in a cloud setting. Time permitting, he will summarize these extensions and will show performance results from a number of at-scale deployments, including the computation of the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI) of market concentration used in antitrust regulation on an aggregate 156 GB of data from five mutually distrusting companies, and the analysis of cybersecurity risks associated with threat propagation through the interconnection of multiple ISP networks.

Azer Bestavros is Warren Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Founding Director of the Hariri Institute for Computing at Boston University, which was set up in 2011 as an incubator for high-risk, high-reward cross-disciplinary collaborations. For more information, please check out his profile.


Date: October 3rd
Time: 15:30
Place: EIT Digital CLC, Electrum, Elevator C, 3rd floor, Isafjordgatan 26, Kista

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