Differential Privacy is a concept in data privacy that aims to protect the privacy of individuals in a dataset while still allowing for useful analysis. It involves adding carefully crafted noise to the data to prevent the extraction of specific information about any individual.


DP-Mix: Mixup-based Data Augmentation for Differentially Private Learning

Data augmentation techniques, such as image transformations and combinations, are highly effective at improving the generalization of computer vision models, especially when training data is limited. However, such techniques are fundamentally incompatible with differentially private learning approaches, due to the latter’s built-in assumption that each training image’s contribution to the learned model is bounded. In this paper, we investigate why naive applications of multi-sample data augmentation techniques, such as mixup, fail to achieve good performance and propose two novel data augmentation techniques specifically designed for the constraints of differentially private learning. Our first technique, DP-Mix_Self, achieves SoTA classification performance across a range of datasets and settings by performing mixup on self-augmented data. Our second technique, DP-Mix_Diff, further improves performance by incorporating synthetic data from a pre-trained diffusion model into the mixup process. We open-source the code at https://github.com/wenxuan-Bao/DP-Mix.

LDP-Feat: Image Features with Local Differential Privacy

Modern computer vision services often require users to share raw feature descriptors with an untrusted server. This presents an inherent privacy risk, as raw descriptors may be used to recover the source images from which they were extracted. To address this issue, researchers recently proposed privatizing image features by embedding them within an affine subspace containing the original feature as well as adversarial feature samples. In this paper, we propose two novel inversion attacks to show that it is possible to (approximately) recover the original image features from these embeddings, allowing us to recover privacy-critical image content. In light of such successes and the lack of theoretical privacy guarantees afforded by existing visual privacy methods, we further propose the first method to privatize image features via local differential privacy, which, unlike prior approaches, provides a guaranteed bound for privacy leakage regardless of the strength of the attacks. In addition, our method yields strong performance in visual localization as a downstream task while enjoying the privacy guarantee.

Voting Based Approaches For Differentially Private Federated Learning

Differentially Private Federated Learning (DPFL) is an emerging field with many applications. Gradient averaging-based DPFL methods require costly communication rounds and hardly work with large capacity models due to the explicit dimension dependence in its added noise. In this work, inspired by knowledge transfer non federated privacy learning from Papernot et al.(2017, 2018), we design two new DPFL schemes, by voting among the data labels returned from each local model, instead of averaging the gradients, which avoids the dimension dependence and significantly reduces the communication cost. Theoretically, by applying secure multi party computation, we could exponentially amplify the (data dependent) privacy guarantees when the margin of the voting scores are large. Extensive experiments show that our approaches significantly improve the privacy utility trade off over the state of the arts in DPFL.

Private-kNN Practical Differential Privacy for Computer Vision

With increasing ethical and legal concerns on privacy for deep models in visual recognition, differential privacy has emerged as a mechanism to disguise membership of sensitive data in training datasets. Recent methods like Private Aggregation of Teacher Ensembles (PATE) leverage a large ensemble of teacher models trained on disjoint subsets of private data, to transfer knowledge to a student model with privacy guarantees. However, labeled vision data is often expensive and datasets, when split into many disjoint training sets, lead to significantly sub-optimal accuracy and thus hardly sustain good privacy bounds. We propose a practically data-efficient scheme based on private release of k-nearest neighbor (kNN) queries, which altogether avoids splitting the training dataset. Our approach allows the use of privacy-amplification by subsampling and iterative refinement of the kNN feature embedding. We rigorously analyze the theoretical properties of our method and demonstrate strong experimental performance on practical computer vision datasets for face attribute recognition and person reidentification. In particular, we achieve comparable or better accuracy than PATE while reducing more than 90% of the privacy loss, thereby providing the “most practical method to-date” for private deep learning in computer vision.