February 25, 2024

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U.S. Researchers Develop Affordable Method for Big Data Privacy

Rice University computer scientists have discovered an inexpensive way for tech companies to implement a rigorous form of personal data privacy when using or sharing large databases for machine learning.

The researchers aim to solve the problem with a new method using a technique called locality sensitive hashing. They found they could create a small summary of an enormous database of sensitive records. The method is both safe to make publicly available and useful for algorithms that use kernel sums, one of the basic building blocks of machine learning, and for machine-learning programs that perform common tasks like classification, ranking and regression analysis.

The method also allows companies to both reap the benefits of large-scale, distributed machine learning and uphold a rigorous form of data privacy called differential privacy. Differential privacy, which is used by more than one tech giant, is based on the idea of adding random noise to obscure individual information.

There are elegant and powerful techniques to meet differential privacy standards today, but none of them scale. The computational overhead and the memory requirements grow exponentially as data becomes more dimensional. Data is increasingly high-dimensional, meaning it contains both many observations and many individual features about each observation.

There are many cases where machine learning could benefit society if data privacy could be ensured. There is huge potential for improving medical treatments or finding patterns of discrimination, for example, if we could train machine learning systems to search for patterns in large databases of medical or financial records. Today, that’s essentially impossible because data privacy methods do not scale.

– Anshumali Shrivastava, Associate Professor, Computer Science, Rice University

The new method scales for high-dimensional data. The sketches are small and the computational and memory requirements for constructing them are also easy to distribute. Engineers today must either sacrifice their budget or the privacy of their users if they wish to use kernel sums. This new method changes the economics of releasing high-dimensional information with differential privacy. This latest method is simple, fast and 100 times less expensive to run than existing methods.

This is the latest innovation from the researchers who have developed numerous algorithmic strategies to make machine learning and data science faster and more scalable. They and their collaborators have found a more efficient way for social media companies to keep misinformation from spreading online and discovered how to train large-scale deep learning systems up to 10 times faster for “extreme classification” problems.

Big data has enormous potential in the public sector. A government’s everyday activities, such as managing social benefits, collecting taxes, monitoring the national health and education systems, recording traffic data and issuing official documents generate and collect vast amounts of data every day. Information that is readily available in real-time enables government agencies and departments to identify areas in need of attention, make more informed decisions more quickly, and implement necessary changes.

Since big data is so versatile, it can be used in a variety of industries and settings, including healthcare. As reported by OpenGov Asia, The COVID-19 pandemic revealed how big data and analytics technologies are being used in the public health sector.

For example, governments and organisations developed contact tracing, where phone numbers and location data from mobile devices were combined with lab results in public health systems to issue alerts when an individual came in contact with a confirmed COVID patient. This information empowered people to preemptively self-isolate and/or head for rapid testing.

Public health agencies must understand how to use data effectively as the use of big data during the pandemic is essential. They should start working on plans to protect the privacy of the end-user and comply with the evolving laws around personal data privacy.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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