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Buying private data at auction: the sensitive surveyor's problem

Buying private data at auction: the sensitive surveyor's problem Buying Private Data at Auction: The Sensitive Surveyor ™s Problem AARON ROTH University of Pennsylvania In this letter, we survey some recent work on what we call the sensitive surveyor ™s problem. A curious data analyst wishes to survey a population to obtain an accurate estimate of a simple population statistic: for example, the fraction of the population testing positive for syphilis. However, because this is a statistic over sensitive data, individuals experience a cost for participating in the survey as a function of their loss in privacy. Agents must be compensated for this cost, and moreover, are strategic agents and will mis-report their cost if doing so is bene cial for them. The goal of the surveyor is to manage the inevitable tradeo € between the cost of the survey, and the accuracy of its results. Categories and Subject Descriptors: J.4 [Social and Behavioral Sciences]: Economics General Terms: Privacy, Mechanism Design 1. INTRODUCTION Consider the following stylized problem of the sensitive surveyor Alice1 . She is tasked with conducting a survey of a set of n individuals N , to determine what proportion of the individuals i ˆ N satisfy some property P (i). Her ultimate goal http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png ACM SIGecom Exchanges Association for Computing Machinery

Buying private data at auction: the sensitive surveyor's problem

ACM SIGecom Exchanges , Volume 11 (1) – Jun 1, 2012

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Publisher
Association for Computing Machinery
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 by ACM Inc.
ISSN
1551-9031
DOI
10.1145/2325713.2325714
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Buying Private Data at Auction: The Sensitive Surveyor ™s Problem AARON ROTH University of Pennsylvania In this letter, we survey some recent work on what we call the sensitive surveyor ™s problem. A curious data analyst wishes to survey a population to obtain an accurate estimate of a simple population statistic: for example, the fraction of the population testing positive for syphilis. However, because this is a statistic over sensitive data, individuals experience a cost for participating in the survey as a function of their loss in privacy. Agents must be compensated for this cost, and moreover, are strategic agents and will mis-report their cost if doing so is bene cial for them. The goal of the surveyor is to manage the inevitable tradeo € between the cost of the survey, and the accuracy of its results. Categories and Subject Descriptors: J.4 [Social and Behavioral Sciences]: Economics General Terms: Privacy, Mechanism Design 1. INTRODUCTION Consider the following stylized problem of the sensitive surveyor Alice1 . She is tasked with conducting a survey of a set of n individuals N , to determine what proportion of the individuals i ˆ N satisfy some property P (i). Her ultimate goal

Journal

ACM SIGecom ExchangesAssociation for Computing Machinery

Published: Jun 1, 2012

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