Sharing Private Information Across Distributed Databases

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Executive Summary

In industries such as healthcare, there is a need to electronically share privacy-sensitive data across distinct organizations. The authors show how this can be done while allowing organizations to keep their legacy databases and maintain ownership of the data that they currently store. Without sending or mirroring data to any trusted, centralized entity, they demonstrate how queries can be answered in a distributed manner that preserves the privacy of the original data. This paper explains the distributed query execution engine, outlines how to bootstrap the system when only real world identifiers such as a name and date-of-birth are initially known, and offers details on the trade-off between privacy and performance. They evaluate the scalability of this approach through simulation.

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