Information Design for Differential Privacy


Suggested Citation

Schmutte, Ian M. and Nathan Yoder. "Information Design for Differential Privacy." April 2022.


Firms and statistical agencies that publish aggregate data face practical and legal requirements to protect the privacy of individuals. Increasingly, these organizations meet these standards by using publication mechanisms which satisfy differential privacy. We consider the problem of choosing such a mechanism so as to maximize the value of its output to end users. We show that this is equivalent to a constrained information design problem, and characterize its solution. Moreover, by introducing a new order on information structures and showing that it ranks them by their usefulness to agents with supermodular payoffs, we show that the simple geometric mechanism is optimal whenever data users face supermodular decision problems.