Department of Statistics Unitmark
Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Differential Privacy for Functions and Functional Data

Publication Date

March, 2012

Publication Type

Tech Report


Rob Hall, Alessandro Rinaldo, Larry Wasserman


Differential privacy is a framework for privately releasing summaries of a database. Previous work has focused mainly on methods for which the output is a finite dimensional vector, or an element of some discrete set. We develop methods for releasing functions while preserving differential privacy. Specifically, we show that adding an appropriate Gaussian process to the function of interest yields differential privacy. When the functions lie in the same RKHS as the Gaussian process, then the correct noise level is established by measuring the "sensitivity" of the function in the RKHS norm. As examples we consider kernel density estimation, kernel support vector machines, and functions in reproducing kernel Hilbert spaces.