Fair Learning with Private Demographic Data

Hussein Mozannar · Mesrob Ohannessian · Nati Srebro


Keywords: [ Fairness, Equity, Justice, and Safety ] [ Fairness, Equity and Justice ] [ Privacy-preserving Statistics and Machine Learning ]


Sensitive attributes such as race are rarely available to learners in real world settings as their collection is often restricted by laws and regulations. We give a scheme that allows individuals to release their sensitive information privately while still allowing any downstream entity to learn non-discriminatory predictors. We show how to adapt non-discriminatory learners to work with privatized protected attributes giving theoretical guarantees on performance. Finally, we highlight how the methodology could apply to learning fair predictors in settings where protected attributes are only available for a subset of the data.

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