Task-aware Privacy Preservation for Multi-dimensional Data
Jiangnan Cheng · Ao Tang · Sandeep Chinchali
Hall E #1013
Local differential privacy (LDP) can be adopted to anonymize richer user data attributes that will be input to sophisticated machine learning (ML) tasks. However, today's LDP approaches are largely task-agnostic and often lead to severe performance loss -- they simply inject noise to all data attributes according to a given privacy budget, regardless of what features are most relevant for the ultimate task. In this paper, we address how to significantly improve the ultimate task performance with multi-dimensional user data by considering a task-aware privacy preservation problem. The key idea is to use an encoder-decoder framework to learn (and anonymize) a task-relevant latent representation of user data. We obtain an analytical near-optimal solution for the linear setting with mean-squared error (MSE) task loss. We also provide an approximate solution through a gradient-based learning algorithm for general nonlinear cases. Extensive experiments demonstrate that our task-aware approach significantly improves ultimate task accuracy compared to standard benchmark LDP approaches with the same level of privacy guarantee.