Protecting and Evaluating Genomic Privacy in Medical Tests and Personalized Medicine

In this paper, we propose privacy-enhancing technologies for medical tests and personalized medicine methods that use patients' genomic data. Focusing on genetic disease-susceptibility tests, we develop a new architecture (between the patient and the medical unit) and propose a "privacy-preserving disease susceptibility test" (PDS) by using homomorphic encryption and proxy re-encryption. Assuming the whole genome sequencing to be done by a certified institution, we propose to store patients' genomic data encrypted by their public keys at a "storage and processing unit" (SPU). Our proposed solution lets the medical unit retrieve the encrypted genomic data from the SPU and process it for medical tests and personalized medicine methods, while preserving the privacy of patients' genomic data. We also quantify the genomic privacy of a patient (from the medical unit's point of view) and show how a patient's genomic privacy decreases with the genetic tests he undergoes due to (i) the nature of the genetic test, and (ii) the characteristics of the genomic data. Furthermore, we show how basic policies and obfuscation methods help to keep the genomic privacy of a patient at a high level. We also implement and show, via a complexity analysis, the practicality of PDS.

Presented at:
ACM Workshop on Privacy in the Electronic Society (WPES), Berlin, Germany, November 2013

 Record created 2013-08-28, last modified 2018-01-28

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