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Stanford Researchers Develop New Data Privacy Technique

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The system breaks up and obscures individual information through secret sharing.

Researchers at Stanford University have developed a new system for preserving privacy during data collection from the internet.

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Researchers at Stanford University have developed a new system for aggregating data usage reports that emphasizes maintaining personal privacy.

The Prio system works by breaking up and obscuring individual information via "secret sharing," and only allowing for the collection of aggregate reports.

Secret sharing is a method for maintaining data security that involves segmenting a piece of information into specially formulated parts; Prio uses this method to break individual data points into secret shares and sends them to two different servers, so even if an attack infiltrates one of the two servers, the attacker cannot recover any individuals' data point.

Mozilla has been testing Prio in a version of the Firefox browser called Nightly. On Nightly, Prio ran in parallel to the current remote data collection system for six weeks, gathering more than 3 million data values, and its results exactly matched outcomes from the current system.

From Stanford News
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