Jean-Pierre Hubaux is a full professor at the School of Information and Communication Sciences of EPFL. Through his research, he contributes to laying the foundations and developing the tools to protect privacy in tomorrow’s hyper-connected world. He is focusing notably on network privacy and security, with an emphasis on mobile/wireless networks and on data protection, with an emphasis on health-related data and especially genomic data. He has worked on the topic of genome privacy since 2011 and has designed related cryptographic solutions, notably in collaboration with the Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) and the EPFL School of Life Sciences. He has co-chaired the first workshop devoted to the topic (in Dagstuhl, Germany, in 2013) and is a co-founder and chair of the steering committee of the International Workshop on Genome Privacy and Security (GenoPri.org). He was recently appointed to the “Information Security Task Force” set up by the Swiss federal government. He is also an active member of the Security Working Group of the GA4GH. He is a Fellow of both IEEE (2008) and ACM (2010).
More information about his research in genome privacy and security can be found here:
Precision medicine is around the corner, fueled notably by the immense progress achieved on the front of genome sequencing. This is clearly a desirable evolution, but the security and privacy implications absolutely need to be tackled.
In this talk, we will first describe the basics of genomics and the relevance for precision medicine. We will then mention the numerous threats induced by precision medicine in general (including the “quantified self”) and by genomics in particular. Moreover, we will discuss possible IT architectures for genomic (and phenotypic) data generation, processing, and protection, and present the solutions envisioned by the (few) researchers working on the topic.
We will address the benefits (and limitations) of using partial homomorphic encryption for the protection of genomic data. We will also discuss the potential of lattice-based encryption. We will detail the system we are currently developing for the privacy-conscious sharing of data between Swiss hospitals, as well as the investigations made by the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH). Finally, we will address the problem of inference attacks against genome databases and discuss the implications for kinship.
The community Web site we have set up on the topic of genome privacy and security can be found at: