BMI Student Eric Lantz, his advisor Professor David Page, and their colleagues Matthew Fredrikson, Somesh Jha, Simon Lin, and Thomas Ristenpart have won the best paper award at USENIX Security, a major computer security conference held August 20th - 22nd, 2014, in San Diego. The paper, “Privacy in Pharmacogenetics: An End-to-End Case Study of Personalized Warfarin Dosing,” Fredrikson, Jha and Ristenpart are in Computer Sciences. Lin is at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
The paper demonstrates that publishing a predictive model for personalized medicine or pharmacogenetics could in some cases reveal private information about patients on whose data the model was trained, via a "model inversion attack." It also shows that while differential privacy can protect against such an attack, for current typical data set sizes if the privacy level is elevated high enough to provide meaningful privacy protection then the trained predictive model is of little or no utility.