Raluca Ada Popa
2018 Hellman Fellow
Assistant Professor, EECS
Project Title: Enabling collaborative analytics on private data
Popa’s group works on addressing salient security problems of software systems. A recurrent problem society faces today is that multiple organizations having sensitive data wish to run a joint analysis over everyone’s data, but they cannot do so, because they cannot share the data (e.g., due to privacy laws or business reasons). For example, there are many cases where some medical institutions want to conduct a medical study over their aggregate patient data, such as which treatment works best for a certain type of cancer, but cannot do so due to privacy regulations or concerns.
Using the Hellman funds, her group is designing a framework to enable organizations to share encrypted data and a cryptographic protocol that runs on encrypted data (without decrypting it) producing an encrypted result that only the organizations can decrypt. In this process, no organization learns the data of another organization, except for the final aggregate result. For example, medical institutions will learn which treatment works best for a certain type of cancer, but they will not learn the patient data of the other medical institutions. Popa’s platform would have a wide applicability, and could also be used for financial data and user/customer data analysis.