Time+Place: Tuesday 24/06/2014 14:30 Room 337-8 Taub Bld.
Title: Buying Private Data without Verification
Speaker: Katrina Ligett - CSpecial Lecture http://users.cms.caltech.edu/~katrina/
Affiliation: Caltech
Host: Seffi Naor


The problem of eliciting and aggregating information held by individuals 
has received significant attention in recent years? how can we gather the 
wisdom of crowds? This problem is made challenging when the quality of 
the information gathered cannot be directly verified, and even more so 
when the individuals in the crowd are concerned about their privacy, are 
not compelled to volunteer their information, and are willing to lie.

We consider the problem of designing a survey to aggregate 
non-verifiable information from a privacy-sensitive population. In this 
setting, an analyst wants to compute some aggregate statistic from the 
private bits held by each member of a population, but cannot verify the 
correctness of the bits reported by participants in his survey. 
Individuals in the population are strategic agents with a cost for 
privacy, i.e., they not only account for the payments they expect to 
receive from the analyst, but also their privacy costs from any 
information revealed about them by the survey's outcome (the computed 
statistic as well as the payments).
In this talk, we'll see how to design payments to obtain an accurate 
estimate of the statistic when individuals strategically decide both 
whether to participate and whether to truthfully report their sensitive 

based on joint work with Arpita Ghosh, Aaron Roth, and Grant Schoenebeck.

Short Bio:

Katrina Ligett is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science and 
Economics at Caltech. Prior to joining Caltech, she was a postdoctoral 
scholar in Computer Science at Cornell (during which she was also a 
visitor to the Research Group on Algorithmic Game Theory at the Hebrew 
University's Institute for Advanced Studies). She received her PhD
in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon in 2009. She is a recipient 
of the Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship and an NSF CAREER award.