You May Also Like… Privacy: Recommendation Systems Meet PIR

Published in Proceedings on Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium, 2021

We describe the design, analysis, implementation, and evaluation of PIRSONA, a digital content delivery system that realizes collaborative-filtering recommendations atop private information retrieval (PIR). This combination of seemingly antithetical primitives makes possible—for the first time—the construction of practically efficient e-commerce and digital media delivery systems that can provide personalized content recommendations based on their users’ historical consumption patterns while simultaneously keeping said consumption patterns private. In designing PIRSONA, we have opted for the most performant primitives available (at the expense of rather strong non-collusion assumptions); namely, we use the recent computationally 1-private PIR protocol of Hafiz and Henry (PETS 2019.4) together with a carefully optimized 4PC Boolean matrix factorization.

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