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Replaced WG Privacy Respecting Incorporation of Values (priv)

WG Name Privacy Respecting Incorporation of Values
Acronym priv
Area Security Area (sec)
State Replaced
Charter charter-ietf-priv-00-01 Replaced
Document dependencies
Additional resources Mailing List Archive
Charter for Discussion
Personnel Chairs Adam Roach, Alissa Cooper
Area Director Roman Danyliw
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Charter for Working Group

There are many situations in which it is desirable to take measurements of data which people consider sensitive. For instance, a browser company might want to measure web sites that do not render properly without learning which users visit those sites, or a public health authority might want to measure exposure to some disease without learning the identities of those exposed. In these cases, the entity taking the measurement is not interested in people's individual responses but rather in aggregated data (e.g., how many users had errors on site X). Conventional methods require collecting individual measurements in plaintext and then aggregating them, thus representing a threat to user privacy and rendering many such measurements difficult and impractical.

New cryptographic techniques address this gap through a variety of techniques, all of which aim to ensure that the server (or multiple, non-colluding servers) can compute the aggregated value without learning the value of individual measurements. The Privacy Preserving Measurement (PPM) work will standardize protocols for deployment of these techniques on the Internet. This will include mechanisms for:

  • Client submission of individual measurements, potentially along with proofs of validity
  • Verification of validity proofs by the server(s), if sent by client
  • Computation of aggregate values by the server(s) and reporting of results to the entity taking the measurement

A successful PPM system assumes that clients and servers are configured with each other's identities and details of the types of measurements to be taken. This is assumed to happen out of band and will not be standardized in this working group.

The WG will deliver one or more protocols which can accommodate multiple PPM algorithms. The initial deliverables will support the calculation of simple predefined statistical aggregates such as averages, as well as calculations of the values that most frequently appear in individual measurements. The PPM protocols will use cryptographic algorithms defined by the CFRG. The protocol will be designed to limit abuse by both client and aggregators, including exposure of individual user measurements and denial of service attacks on the measurement system. The resulting documents shall clearly describe abuse cases and remaining attacks which are not prevented or mitigated by the protocol.

The starting point for PPM WG discussions shall be draft-gpew-priv-ppm.