Learning with User-Level PrivacyDownload PDF

21 May 2021, 20:48 (edited 28 Jan 2022)NeurIPS 2021 PosterReaders: Everyone
  • Keywords: privacy, user-level, optimization, sco, learning, minimax, lower bounds, differential privacy
  • TL;DR: How to solve learning tasks under a more stringent but more realistic notion of privacy where each user contributes $m\ge 1$ samples and we wish to protect information leaks at the user-level.
  • Abstract: We propose and analyze algorithms to solve a range of learning tasks under user-level differential privacy constraints. Rather than guaranteeing only the privacy of individual samples, user-level DP protects a user's entire contribution ($m \ge 1$ samples), providing more stringent but more realistic protection against information leaks. We show that for high-dimensional mean estimation, empirical risk minimization with smooth losses, stochastic convex optimization, and learning hypothesis classes with finite metric entropy, the privacy cost decreases as $O(1/\sqrt{m})$ as users provide more samples. In contrast, when increasing the number of users $n$, the privacy cost decreases at a faster $O(1/n)$ rate. We complement these results with lower bounds showing the minimax optimality of our algorithms for mean estimation and stochastic convex optimization. Our algorithms rely on novel techniques for private mean estimation in arbitrary dimension with error scaling as the concentration radius $\tau$ of the distribution rather than the entire range.
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