Data mining provides large benefits to the commercial, government and homeland security sectors, but the aggregation and storage of huge amounts of data about citizens inevitably leads to erosion of privacy. To achieve the benefits that data mining has to offer, while at the same time enhancing privacy, we need technological solutions that simultaneously enable data mining while preserving privacy. The current state of the art has focused on providing privacy-preserving solutions for very specific problems, and has thus taken a local perspective. Although this is an important first step in the development of privacy-preserving solutions, it is time for a global perspective on the problem that aims for providing full integrated solutions. Our goal in this research is to study privacy and develop comprehensive solutions for enhancing it in the digital era. Our proposed research project includes foundational research on privacy, an infrastructure level for achieving anonymity over the Internet, key cryptographic tools for constructing privacy-preserving protocols, and development of large-scale applications that are built on top of all of the above. The novelty of our research is in our focus on fundamental issues towards comprehensive solutions that are aimed for large-scale data sources. The project s outcome will allow migration from local solutions for specific problems that are suited for small to medium scale data sources to comprehensive privacy-preserving database and data mining solutions for large scale data warehouses. Achieving this great challenge carries immense scientific, technological and societal rewards.
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