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1 QUAKE: Quadruple Key and Encryption Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Third Annual National Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Conference,

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Presentation on theme: "1 QUAKE: Quadruple Key and Encryption Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Third Annual National Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Conference,"— Presentation transcript:

1 1 QUAKE: Quadruple Key and Encryption Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Third Annual National Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Conference, Washington, DC, February, 2004.

2 2 Background University of Maine research team involved in research in informatics and developmental epidemiology Contact Information Craig A. Mason: craig.mason@umit.maine.educraig.mason@umit.maine.edu Shihfen Tu: shihfen.tu@umit.maine.edushihfen.tu@umit.maine.edu

3 3 To Link or Not to Link… Data linkage provides huge opportunity for public health research Integrate large, complex, longitudinal datasets Address questions impossible to do any other way This impractical 10 or 15 years ago Lead to fears of Big brother Abuse of information Has identifiable information be released by researchers? Individual rights versus public good At what point does the public right to health trump my right to privacy? (assuming either of these exist)

4 4 Strategies for Addressing Concerns Legislative Procedural Educational Our focus: Technological Review linkage strategies Review encryption issues

5 5 Deterministic Linkage A series of common identifying fields are selected across two databases Records are matched across databases based on these fields Two records must have identical values across all of these fields in order to be linked John, Bartholomew, Szapoznick Jon, Bartholomew, Szapoznick

6 6 Probabilistic Linkage Two records do not have to match across all fields in order to be linked For a possible pairing, a value is calculated that reflects the likelihood that the two records are (or are not) the same person Based upon the frequencies of values and the quality of the data

7 7 Reliability of data fields Greater reliability results in increased odds of a correct match If a field is pure noise, correct matches will be random Frequency of field values The more common the value in a field, the greater the odds that the records will be erroneously matched E.g., a match based on the name Szapocznik is more likely to reflect a correct match than is a match on the name Smith Number of matches The greater the number of individuals in one database that also appear in the other database, the greater probability of linkage across databases. If two databases have no individuals in common, the probability of a linkage across the databases must be zero Factors Influencing Probabilistic Linkage

8 8 Statisticians Anonymous Im David, and Im a bean-counter

9 9 Encryption Ecretsay odecay Information is coded so that true values are not obvious Ancient field Modern era focus on electronic transmission of sensitive data Notice the little yellow padlock in the bottom corner of your browser when shopping on e-bay?

10 10 Encryption Techniques Asymmetric or public key Different key for encryption and decryption Encryption key is public Decryption key is private Decryption key cannot be derived from encryption key Provide security of data transmission Anyone can use the public key to code a message Only I can decrypt it Typically based on product of large primes

11 11 Challenge of Factorization Factors hard to find But once you know one, the other is easy to find Public Key: 114,381,625,757,888,867,669,235,779,976,146, 612,010,218,296,721,242,362,562,561,842,935,706,935,245, 733,897,830,597,123,563,958,705,058,989,075,147,599,290, 026,879,543,541 Private Key Based on Factors: 3,490,529,510,847,650,949,147,849,619,903,898, 133, 417,764,638,493,387,843,990,820,577 and 32,769,132,993,266,709,549,961,988,190,834,461, 413,177,642,967,992,942,539,798,288,533

12 12 Encryption Techniques Symmetric key Same key for encryption and decryption Key is not made public Secret key - One Key to Rule Them All More secure than asymmetric key Nothing suggesting a possible key is published Asymmetric key must be 6 to 30 times longer than symmetric key for equivalent security Useful if you know in advance exactly who will want to encrypt a message to you

13 13 Encryption Techniques Security often described in terms of bits 128 bit encryption indicated 2 128 possible keys 3,402,823,669,209,384,634,633,746,074,300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 A lot of possibilities… Widespread use of 1024 and 2048 bit encryption on the horizon 128 bit symmetric = 2304 bit asymmetric (Cryptography, p.166)

14 14 A Dirty Little Secret.. These big numbers hide the fact that the security is only as good as the algorithm Think reliability of DNA testing Plaintext attack (and its variations) If the only unique name in the data set is Szapocznik And the only unique variation in the encrypted data set is X*GFfF825d=….. The key can be resolved

15 15 A Dirty Little Secret.. Even without the key, you can determine my grade Some computational or physical wall between decrypted and encrypted data

16 16 One-to-One Encryption Identifiers are encrypted into a unique value Craig 93812….2431 Encryption Key H3~f9(-d

17 17 One-to-Many Encryption Identifiers are encrypted into one of multiple values Lack of uniqueness increases challenge of decryption Craig 93812….2431 Encryption Key H3~f9(-d or 9Dj1D[d dfR1d/G or

18 18 Thats nice, but how can this help with data linkage? All right. But apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system, and public health… What have the Romans ever done for us? --- Reg, spokesman for the Peoples Front of Judea Monty Python Life of Brian (and Martin White, UC Berkeley)

19 19 The Politics of Linkage Two data systems contain information on same individuals Would like to link data for public health research Service Data: Craig A. Mason….School Data: Craig A. Mason….

20 20 Service Data: Craig A. Mason….School Data: Craig A. Mason…. I may not want schools to know about health services I have received The Politics of Linkage

21 21 Service Data: Craig A. Mason….School Data: Craig A. Mason…. What solution may allow data to be linked, yet prevent sources from seeing each others identifying data The Politics of Linkage

22 22 Quake QUAdruple Key and Encryption Service Data: Craig A. Mason….School Data: Craig A. Mason….

23 23 Quake Requires algorithms to be reversible You can undo a process to come back to original value

24 24 Quake Requires algorithms to be commutative You get the same answer even if you do the problem backwards

25 25 Quake 052385043…9471757260024…2512 Each provider selects their own unique encryption key that is used to encrypt identifiers prior to linkage Service Data: Craig A. Mason….School Data: Craig A. Mason….

26 26 Quake 850258434…3435 052385043…9471 420504763….8372 757260024…2512 Community members representing individuals in each dataset also select their own unique encryption keys Service Data: Craig A. Mason….School Data: Craig A. Mason….

27 27 Quake 850258434…3435 052385043…9471 420504763….8372 757260024…2512 Hidden Key: 342002330…2852Hidden Key: 147742268…0042 The encryption keys for the community representatives and the providers are entered separately, and the combined keys are hidden from the users Service Data: Craig A. Mason….School Data: Craig A. Mason….

28 28 Quake 850258434…3435 052385043…9471 420504763….8372 757260024…2512 Service Data: *Bj&!33t….School Data: yy#K66…. These combined encryption keys are used to encrypt identifiers in each file prior to linkage Hidden Key: 342002330…2852Hidden Key: 147742268…0042

29 29 Quake 850258434…3435 052385043…9471 420504763….8372 757260024…2512 Service Data: *Bj&!33t….School Data: yy#K66…. Symmetric key with 1:many encryption Hidden Key: 342002330…2852Hidden Key: 147742268…0042

30 30 Quake 850258434…3435 052385043…9471 420504763….8372 757260024…2512 Service Data: *Bj&!33t….School Data: yy#K66…. The combined encryption keys are not stored so neither party can decrypt on their own Hidden Key: 342002330…2852Hidden Key: 147742268…0042

31 31 Illustration of Security Rep Key: 3 Provider Key: 7 Hidden Combined Key: 21 To see why, consider the following simple keys Service provider key: 7 Community representative key: 3 Combined key: 3 x 7 = 21 Simple message to encrypt, A Simple encryption algorithm Each letter has a value 1-26, repeating A=1, Z=26, A=27… Multiply that value by the encryption key in order to obtain the new value

32 32 Illustration of Security Rep Key: 3 Provider Key: 7 Hidden Combined Key: 21 Once encrypted, A becomes U Original Message: A Encrypted Message: U

33 33 Illustration of Security Rep Key: 3 Provider Key: 7 Hidden Combined Key: 21 If the community representative applied their key to the encrypted message, they would see G 21 ÷ 3 = 7 G is the letter with value 7 Encrypted Message: U De-Encrypted Message: G

34 34 Illustration of Security Rep Key: 3 Service Provider Key: 7 Hidden Combined Key: 21 If the service provider applied their key to the encrypted message, they would see C 21 ÷ 7 = 3 C is the letter with value 3 Encrypted Message: U De-Encrypted Message: C

35 35 Illustration of Security Rep Key: 3 Service Provider Key: 7 Hidden Combined Key: 21 Only by working together can the message be decrypted Encrypted Message: U Fully Decrypted Message: A Partially Decrypted Message: G

36 36 Quake 850258434…3435 052385043…9471 420504763….8372 757260024…2512 Service Data: *Bj&!33t….School Data: yy#K66…. Once each dataset encrypted, several possible methods for linking Hidden Key: 342002330…2852Hidden Key: 147742268…0042

37 37 Linking Encrypted Files Simple approach Bring both encrypted files together on independent, non-networked machine Each of the four parties enters their own key Respective files internally decrypted and linked New, de-identified linked file containing fields of interest created Record of identifiers and keys electronically or physically erased DoD 5220.22-M protocol

38 38 Linking Encrypted Files Benefits Flexible linkage strategies (partial names, etc.) Easiest to perform Once completed no identifiers to enable plaintext attack Issues Process of encryption/decryption can be computationally demanding Potential record of encrypted data and all keys Can be destroyed, but time consuming

39 39 Variation of Quake Key: 052385043…9471Key: 757260024…2512 Service Data: Craig A. MasonSchool Data: Craig A. Mason Each provider selects own unique encryption key used to encrypt identifiers prior to linkage

40 40 Variation Key: 052385043…9471Key: 757260024…2512 Service Data: *Bj&!33t….School Data: yy#K66…. Identifiers in their file encrypted with a 1:1 symmetric key

41 41 Service Data: *Bj&!33t…. Variation Key: 052385043…9471Key: 757260024…2512 School Data: yy#K66…. Parties then switch encrypted files If identifying fields in both files are all equal.. May be prone to variations of a plaintext attack Inclusion of additional records whose identifiers contain random noise can nearly eliminate this risk

42 42 Service Data: Jf*72Coo…. Variation Key: 052385043…9471Key: 757260024…2512 School Data: Jf*72Coo…. Each party then applies their own key to the other parties already-encrypted file Identifiers in each file will have the same value Can not determine key used by other source

43 43 Service Data: Jf*72Coo…. Variation Key: 052385043…9471Key: 757260024…2512 School Data: Jf*72Coo…. If files brought together by one of the parties They may be able to conduct a plaintext attack May then be able to determine key used by other party Both files linked by trusted third party

44 44 Service Data: Jf*72Coo…. Variation Key: 052385043…9471Key: 757260024…2512 School Data: Jf*72Coo…. Again, may bring in community representatives Linked Data: Jf*72Coo, Services, Grades Final Linked Data: Services, Grades

45 45 Variation Link based upon the encrypted identifier fields No need to decrypt files when linking Apply deterministic and probabilistic algorithms to encrypted data No machine ever sees all keys Final file contains no identifiers and only a limited number of fields of interest

46 46 Variation of Quake Issues Requires 1:1 encryption algorithm Can be addressed, but adds level of complexity Can not examine partial strings Specific partial strings can be generated prior to encryption Month of birth, day of birth First letter of first name

47 47 Advanced Linkage Protocols for Addressing Confidentiality Concerns Encrypted Linkage Protocols Unique encryption keys administered by each database administrator and community liaisons No one at any time sees the other persons identifiers Person conducting the linkage never sees any identifiers Resulting linked set includes no decrypted identifiers Resulting file can not be decoded, expanded, or relinked without agreement and cooperation of all parties The community participates in the process Technology that creates confidentiality concerns may provide means for reducing those concerns


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