Abstract: The acquisition of human genomic sequences is of increasing convenience and reduced expense. The sharing of these data is critical for biomedical researchers to study genomic loci or variants that are potentially associated with human diseases. However, sharing genomic data broadly is impeded by privacy concerns. The statistical inference techniques for the re-identification of genomic data donors have been extensively investigated in the literature. The Beacon services project is recently brought into view, aiming to test the willingness of data holders to share genomic data in a simple technical context: a query to ask a specified nucleotide at a given position within a chromosome, also suffering from being compromised. In this paper, we introduce a real-time mitigation method to protect Beacon services from re-identification attacks, and show that it performs favorably in comparison with previous approaches on mitigation efficiency, i.e., with lower re-identification risks and higher utility of Beacon database.

Learning Objective 1: In this paper, we propose a real-time mitigation method that enables the Beacon services for sharing human genomic data while protecting the participants’ privacy from re-identification attempts, including Shringarpure and Bustamante attack and other strengthened attacks.


Diyue Bu (Presenter)
Indiana University Bloomington

Xiaofeng Wang, Indiana University Bloomington
Haixu Tang, Indiana University Bloomington

Presentation Materials: