Privacy in Pharmacogenetics: An End-to-End Case Study of Personalized Warfarin Dosing

Matthew Fredrikson, Eric Lantz, Somesh Jha, Simon Lin, David Page, Thomas Ristenpart
2014
We initiate the study of privacy in pharmacogenetics, wherein machine learning models are used to guide medical treatments based on a patient's genotype and background. Performing an in-depth case study on privacy in personalized warfarin dosing, we show that suggested models carry privacy risks, in particular because attackers can perform what we call model inversion: an attacker, given the model and some demographic information about a patient, can predict the patient's genetic markers. As
more » ... ferential privacy (DP) is an oft-proposed solution for medical settings such as this, we evaluate its effectiveness for building private versions of pharmacogenetic models. We show that DP mechanisms prevent our model inversion attacks when the privacy budget is carefully selected. We go on to analyze the impact on utility by performing simulated clinical trials with DP dosing models. We find that for privacy budgets effective at preventing attacks, patients would be exposed to increased risk of stroke, bleeding events, and mortality. We conclude that current DP mechanisms do not simultaneously improve genomic privacy while retaining desirable clinical efficacy, highlighting the need for new mechanisms that should be evaluated in situ using the general methodology introduced by our work.
pmid:27077138 pmcid:PMC4827719 fatcat:2qcz36jhvbcqbjtikkgmfyppum