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A Constraint Satisfaction Cryptanalysis of Bloom Filters in Private Record Linkage

  • Mehmet Kuzu
  • Murat Kantarcioglu
  • Elizabeth Durham
  • Bradley Malin
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6794)

Abstract

For over fifty years, “record linkage” procedures have been refined to integrate data in the face of typographical and semantic errors. These procedures are traditionally performed over personal identifiers (e.g., names), but in modern decentralized environments, privacy concerns have led to regulations that require the obfuscation of such attributes. Various techniques have been proposed to resolve the tension, including secure multi-party computation protocols, however, such protocols are computationally intensive and do not scale for real world linkage scenarios. More recently, procedures based on Bloom filter encoding (BFE) have gained traction in various applications, such as healthcare, where they yield highly accurate record linkage results in a reasonable amount of time. Though promising, no formal security analysis has been designed or applied to this emerging model, which is of concern considering the sensitivity of the corresponding data. In this paper, we introduce a novel attack, based on constraint satisfaction, to provide a rigorous analysis for BFE and guidelines regarding how to mitigate risk against the attack. In addition, we conduct an empirical analysis with data derived from public voter records to illustrate the feasibility of the attack. Our investigations show that the parameters of the BFE protocol can be configured to make it relatively resilient to the proposed attack without significant reduction in record linkage performance.

Keywords

Hash Function Constraint Satisfaction Constraint Satisfaction Problem Record Linkage Bloom Filter 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mehmet Kuzu
    • 1
  • Murat Kantarcioglu
    • 1
  • Elizabeth Durham
    • 2
  • Bradley Malin
    • 2
  1. 1.Dept. of Computer ScienceUniversity of Texas at DallasRichardsonUSA
  2. 2.Dept. of Biomedical InformaticsVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA

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