Is your data safe? How to keep client data private using Federated Learning | Data Privacy Series-Part 2/3

Sudarsan Lakshmikumar
May 30, 2023
May 30, 2023
Is your data safe? How to keep client data private using Federated Learning | Data Privacy Series-Part 2/3

Federated Learning Overview

Federated Learning (FL) is a privacy-enhancing technology that allows machine learning models to be trained on distributed client data without requiring the data to be shared centrally. This approach helps preserve the privacy of client data while still allowing the model to be trained effectively. In this blog, we will discuss how to keep client data private using Federated Learning.

FL is a distributed technique where the model is trained locally on a client device using its own data, and the model updates are sent back to the central server. The central server then aggregates the updates and creates a new global model, which is then distributed back to the client devices for further training. This process is repeated iteratively until the model achieves the desired level of accuracy.

FL Representation

The key advantage of FL is that it allows the model to be trained on client data without requiring the data to be uploaded to a central server. This approach helps to preserve the privacy of the client data, as the data remains on the client device and is not shared with the server. In addition, FL also reduces the communication costs associated with traditional machine learning models, as only model updates are sent back and forth between the client devices and the central server.

Would FL be enough?

While FL helps preserve the privacy of client data, there are still some privacy concerns that need to be addressed. Here are some ways to keep client data private when using Federated Learning

Differential Privacy

Differential Privacy is a technique that adds noise to the data to preserve privacy while still allowing meaningful statistical analysis. In the context of FL, Differential Privacy can be used to add noise to the model updates sent back to the central server, making it difficult to reconstruct the original client data.

Secure Aggregation

Secure Aggregation is a technique that allows the server to aggregate the model updates from the client devices without being able to see the actual updates. This approach uses encryption to ensure that the server cannot see the model updates and only receives the aggregated results.

Homomorphic Encryption

Homomorphic encryption is a ground-breaking cryptographic technique that permits computations on encrypted data while preserving privacy. It enables secure processing by third parties without the need for decryption, revolutionizing fields such as healthcare and finance. With homomorphic encryption, sensitive information remains encrypted throughout computations, mitigating privacy concerns and opening new possibilities for secure collaboration and data-driven innovation.


The future of machine learning lies in the hands of responsible and privacy-conscious practices. Federated Learning stands as a beacon of hope, offering a pathway to progress where data privacy and cutting-edge AI can coexist harmoniously. Let us embrace this revolutionary approach and build a future where privacy is not compromised, but rather elevated, in the pursuit of knowledge and innovation.


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Bonawitz, K., Eichner, H., Grieskamp, W., Huba, D., Ingerman, A., Ivanov, V., ... & Marcedone, A. (2021). Towards federated learning at scale: System design. arXiv preprint arXiv:1902.01046.