Privacy-Safe Linkage Analysis with Homomorphic Encryption

TitlePrivacy-Safe Linkage Analysis with Homomorphic Encryption
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsUgwuoke, C, Erkin, Z, Lagendijk, RL
Refereed DesignationUnknown
Conference NameEuropean Signal Processing Conference
Date Published08/2017
Conference LocationKos, Greece
ISBN Number978-0-9928626-7-1
KeywordsGenome Privacy, Homomorphic Encryption, Linkage Disequilibrium, Privacy-preserving

Genetic data are important dataset utilised in genetic epidemiology to investigate biologically coded information within the human genome. Enormous research has been delved into in recent years in order to fully sequence and understand the genome. Personalised medicine, patient response to treatments and relationships between specific genes and certain characteristics such as phenotypes and diseases, are positive impacts of studying the genome, just to mention a few. The sensitivity, longevity and non-modifiable nature of genetic data make it even more interesting, consequently, the security and privacy for the storage and processing of genomic data beg for attention. A common activity carried out by geneticists is the association analysis between allele-allele, or even a genetic locus and a disease. We demonstrate the use of cryptographic techniques such as homomorphic encryption schemes and multiparty computations, how such analysis can be carried out in a privacy-friendly manner. We compute a 3 × 3 contingency table, and then, genome analysis algorithms such as linkage disequilibrium (LD) measures, all on the encrypted domain. Our computation guarantees the privacy of the genome data under our security settings, and provides up to 98.4% improvement, compared to an existing solution.