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Enabling Computation on Sensitive Data in International Safeguards with Privacy-Preserving Encryption Techniques...

Publication Type
Journal Name
Journal of Nuclear Materials Management
Publication Date
Page Numbers
16 to 25

Privacy-preserving machine learning is a field of study that explores how to protect and preserve the privacy of sensitive data while allowing the data to be used by machine learning algorithms. This field has had substantial industry investment due to heightened concerns about privacy in the technology industry, with a focus in two broad application areas: financial services and healthcare. Numerous privacy-preserving methods have also been proposed for international safeguards, but they have been difficult to enact because the data they require is con- sidered sensitive or proprietary by the nuclear facility operator. This work examines how current privacy-preserving approaches might be used to enable the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to use that data to contribute to a safeguards conclusion about a state while giving nuclear operators confidence that their sensitive data is adequately protected. This paper begins by exploring several broad categories of privacy-preserving techniques including homomorphic encryption, secure multiparty computation, secure enclaves, and zero-knowledge proofs. Then we discuss some of the security considerations related to using these methods, potential use cases, and a conceptual system design for applying privacy-preserving methods in international safeguards.