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Workshop: Theory and Practice of Differential Privacy

Differential Secrecy for Distributed Data and Applications to Robust Differentially Secure Vector Summation

Kunal Talwar


Computing the noisy sum of real-valued vectors is an important primitive in differentially private learning and statistics. In private federated learning applications, these vectors are held by client devices, leading to a distributed summation problem. Standard Secure Multiparty Computation protocols for this problem are susceptible to poisoning attacks, where a client may have a large influence on the sum, without being detected.

In this work, we propose a poisoning-robust private summation protocol in the multiple-server setting, recently studied in PRIO. We present a protocol for vector summation that verifies that the Euclidean norm of each contribution is approximately bounded. We show that by relaxing the security constraint in SMC to a differential privacy like guarantee, one can improve over PRIO in terms of communication requirements as well as the client-side computation. Unlike SMC algorithms that inevitably cast integers to elements of a large finite field, our algorithms work over integers/reals, which may allow for additional efficiencies.

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