• Corpus ID: 239009825

The Privacy-preserving Padding Problem: Non-negative Mechanisms for Conservative Answers with Differential Privacy

@article{Case2021ThePP,
  title={The Privacy-preserving Padding Problem: Non-negative Mechanisms for Conservative Answers with Differential Privacy},
  author={Benjamin M. Case and James Honaker and Mahnush Movahedi},
  journal={ArXiv},
  year={2021},
  volume={abs/2110.08177}
}
Differentially private noise mechanisms commonly use symmetric noise distributions. This is attractive both for achieving the differential privacy definition, and for unbiased expectations in the noised answers. However, there are contexts in which a noisy answer only has utility if it is conservative, that is, has known-signed error, which we call a padded answer. Seemingly, it is paradoxical to satisfy the DP definition with one-sided error, but we show how it is possible to bury the paradox… 

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