18-734 / 08-604: Foundations of Privacy

Schedule (subject to change)

Classes start on August 28, 2017





Mon, Aug 28

Course Overview
Central Questions:

  • What is privacy?
  • How can we protect privacy?


Wed, Aug 30

Conceptual Framework for understanding Privacy


Fri, Sep 1

Recitation on Logic


Mon, Sep 4

Labor Day Holiday; No lecture.

Privacy through Accountability: Formalization and Detection

Wed, Sep 6

Specifying Privacy Policies: Contextual Integrity and Logics of Privacy
Case study: HIPAA Privacy Rule


Fri, Sep 8

Recitation on the Reduce tool


Mon, Sep 11

Privacy Policy Enforcement through Audit Case study: HIPAA Privacy Rule

  • Policy Auditing over Incomplete Logs: Theory, Implementation and Applications. [PDF] [TechReport
  • ]

HW1 out


Wed, Sep 13

Purpose Restrictions in Privacy Policies: Semantics and Audit


Fri, Sep 15

Course Project guidelines
Markov Decision Processes


Mon, Sep 18

Privacy Compliance in Big Data Systems


Wed, Sep 20

Introduction to Machine Learning

HW1 in


Fri, Sep 22

Probability Theory Review


Mon, Sep 25

Project Proposals

HW2 out

Wed, Sep 27

Detecting Data Use on the Web:

Information Flow Experiments

Fri, Sep 29

Recitation on AdFisher
HW1 discussion

Mon, Oct 2

Privacy against Statistical Inference

Wed, Oct 4

Online Tracking

HW2 in
HW3 out

Fri, Oct 6

Recitation on distance metrics, in prepration for the differential privacy lecture.

Mon, Oct 9

Online Tracking, guest lecture by Nataliia Bielova

Protecting Privacy and Fairness in Big Data Analytics

Wed, Oct 11

Big Data Analytics and Values
Database Privacy: k-anonymity and de-anonymization attacks


Fri, Oct 15

HW 2 Discussion
Laplace Mechanism

Mon, Oct 18

Database Privacy: Differential Privacy

Wed, Oct 18

Database Privacy: Differential Privacy Applied

HW3 in
HW4 out

Fri, Oct 20

Mid semester break; No recitation.

Mon, Oct 23

Group Fairness in classification

·        Certifying and Eliminating Disparate Impact

Wed, Oct 25

Individual Fairness in classification

Fri, Oct 27

HW3 Discussion
Recitation topic TBD

Mon, Oct 30

Project Deliverables I due: Course Project Update

Wed, Nov 1

Guest lecture: Ilya Mironov

Deep Learning with Differential Privacy

·        Deep Learning with Differential Privacy

Fri, Nov 3

Recitation topic TBD



Mon, Nov 6

Transparency for Machine Learning


Wed, Nov 8

Guest lecture: Piotr Mardziel


Accountable Machine Learning



Fri, Nov 10

No classes



Cryptographic Mechanisms for Privacy Protection

Mon, Nov 13

Anonymous Communication Protocols

HW4 in
HW5 out

Wed, Nov 15

Zero Knowledge: Theory

Fri, Nov 17

HW4 discussion
Zero Knowledge Review

Mon, Nov 20

Zero Knowledge: Applications

Wed, Nov 22

Thanksgiving Holiday; No lecture.



Fri, Nov 24

Thanksgiving Holiday; No recitation.



Mon, Nov 27

Secure Two-Party Computation

Wed, Nov 29


HW5 in

Fri, Dec 1

Recitation: Project Q&A



Mon, Dec 4

Project Presentations in class

Project Deliverables II due
Written report due

Wed, Dec 6

Project Presentations in class
+ Course Review

Fri, Dec 8

Recitation: HW5 discussion