About my research
Since January 2017 I am a Ph.D. student at CISPA, Saarland University. I am working in Michael Backes' group on Health Privacy.
Today, biomedical research is fuelled by various data types measured from patients, which is quite costly to get at large scale. Therefore, data sharing is essential. Unfortunately, many data sharing systems designed by biomedical researchers are either threatening patients' privacy or too restrictive to be used at large scale.
Thus I try to find a middle ground. That means, I first explore the privacy risks of a system for publishing health-related data. Having found risks, I re-design the system such that it enables biomedical researchers to share their data in a privacy-preserving way. Concretely, I am currently working with these types of data:
- Methylation: At some positions, the DNA has additional molecules, so-called methyl groups, attached to it, which alters the genes' functionality. Methylation can change due to the environment or due to diseases such as cancer.
- Microbiome: A huge number of microorganisms lives on our bodies' surfaces and in our gut. Since, amongst others, the lifestyle influences the microbiome, privacy risks emerge from this type of data as well.
- Eye tracking: Augmented and virtual reality devices have to track the eyes in order to function correctly, but the data collected may also leak private attributes of the wearer.
- General health-related data that is collected by wearables or smartphones, for example, heart rate, number of steps taken, and location. More and more people use these trackers without being informed what malicious entities can learn about their life from the data. Additionally, smartphones may collect the data without the user even noticing.
Distinguished Paper Award at NDSS 2019 for "MBeacon: Privacy-Preserving Beacons for DNA Methylation Data"
Best Paper Award at ETRA 2019 for "Privacy-Aware Eye Tracking Using Differential Privacy"
MBeacon: Privacy-Preserving Beacons for DNA Methylation Data
Inken Hagestedt, Yang Zhang, Mathias Humbert, Pascal Berrang, Haixu Tang, Xiaofeng Wang, Michael Backes. In 26th Annual Network and Distributed System Security Symposium (NDSS '19) pdf
Membership Inference Against DNA Methylation Databases: Attacks and Defenses
Inken Hagestedt, Mathias Humbert, Pascal Berrang, Irina Lehmann, Roland Elis, Michael Backes, Yang Zhang. Poster in the 26th Annual Network and Distributed System Security Symposium (NDSS '19) poster (pdf)
Privacy-Aware Eye Tracking Using Differential Privacy
Julian Steil, Inken Hagestedt, Michael Xuelin Huang, Andreas Bulling. In Proceedings of the 11th ACM Symposium on Eye Tracking Research & applicataions (ETRA) 2019 project website