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On the Statistical Complexity of Estimation and Testing under Privacy Constraints

by   Clément Lalanne, et al.

Producing statistics that respect the privacy of the samples while still maintaining their accuracy is an important topic of research. We study minimax lower bounds when the class of estimators is restricted to the differentially private ones. In particular, we show that characterizing the power of a distributional test under differential privacy can be done by solving a transport problem. With specific coupling constructions, this observation allows us to derivate Le Cam-type and Fano-type inequalities for both regular definitions of differential privacy and for divergence-based ones (based on Renyi divergence). We then proceed to illustrate our results on three simple, fully worked out examples. In particular, we show that the problem class has a huge importance on the provable degradation of utility due to privacy. For some problems, privacy leads to a provable degradation only when the rate of the privacy parameters is small enough whereas for other problem, the degradation systematically occurs under much looser hypotheses on the privacy parametters. Finally, we show that the known privacy guarantees of DP-SGLD, a private convex solver, when used to perform maximum likelihood, leads to an algorithm that is near-minimax optimal in both the sample size and the privacy tuning parameters of the problem for a broad class of parametric estimation procedures that includes exponential families.


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