Security

An Information-Theoretic Approach to Privacy

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Executive Summary

Ensuring the usefulness of electronic data sources while providing necessary privacy guarantees is an important unsolved problem. This problem drives the need for an overarching analytical framework that can quantify the safety of personally identifiable information (privacy) while still providing a quantifiable benefit (utility) to multiple legitimate information consumers. State of the art approaches have predominantly focused on privacy. This paper presents the first information-theoretic approach that promises an analytical model guaranteeing tight bounds of how much utility is possible for a given level of privacy and vice-versa.

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