Does Differential Privacy Protect Terry Gross’ Privacy?

  • Krish Muralidhar
  • Rathindra Sarathy
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6344)


The concept of differential privacy was motivated through the example of Terry Gross’ height in Dwork (2006). In this paper, we show that when a procedure based on differential privacy is implemented, it neither protects Terry Gross’ privacy nor does it provide meaningful responses to queries. We also provide an additional illustration using income data from the US Census. These illustrations raise serious questions regarding the efficacy of using differential privacy based masking mechanism for numerical data.


Differential privacy Laplace noise addition Numerical data 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Krish Muralidhar
    • 1
  • Rathindra Sarathy
    • 2
  1. 1.University of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  2. 2.Oklahoma State UniversityStillwaterUSA

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