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Adversarially Learned Representations for Information Obfuscation and Inference

Martin A Bertran · Natalia Martinez Gil · Afroditi Papadaki · Qiang Qiu · Miguel Rodrigues · Galen Reeves · Guillermo Sapiro

Pacific Ballroom #81

Keywords: [ Representation Learning ] [ Privacy-preserving Statistics and Machine Learning ] [ Other Applications ] [ Optimization ] [ Information Theory and Estimation ]


Data collection and sharing are pervasive aspects of modern society. This process can either be voluntary, as in the case of a person taking a facial image to unlock his/her phone, or incidental, such as traffic cameras collecting videos on pedestrians. An undesirable side effect of these processes is that shared data can carry information about attributes that users might consider as sensitive, even when such information is of limited use for the task. It is therefore desirable for both data collectors and users to design procedures that minimize sensitive information leakage. Balancing the competing objectives of providing meaningful individualized service levels and inference while obfuscating sensitive information is still an open problem. In this work, we take an information theoretic approach that is implemented as an unconstrained adversarial game between Deep Neural Networks in a principled, data-driven manner. This approach enables us to learn domain-preserving stochastic transformations that maintain performance on existing algorithms while minimizing sensitive information leakage.

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