Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PETs)

Advance Course in Summer 2013 Semester

Instructors: Dr. Matteo Maffei and Dr. Aniket Kate
Teaching Assistant: Tim Ruffing
Lecture:Thursday 16:15 to 18:00
Tutorial:Tuesday 14:15 to 16:00
Place:E1 3 Room 003.1
Instruction Language: English
Contact Email:


Privacy is a fundamental human right and privacy enhancing technologies (PETs) help to support this right. In light of worldwide electronic data protection laws, PETs play a fundamental role in the design and development of information systems.

This advanced course focuses on the theoretical as well as practical aspects of PETs. We aim to discuss some important and practically relevant privacy scenarios and foundational technologies such as Differential Privacy, Zero knowledge proofs, Trusted Computing, Online Advertising, Anonymity, and Censorship Resistance.

Registration and Prerequisites

Students should register for the course through the HISPOS system. Please let us now if you face any problem with registration.


Note that this will be an advanced course and we expect some background in cryptography and security. It would be ideal if you have done a cryptography and/or security at Saarland University or during your previous studies somewhere else. Motivated students without this background are also welcome to the course. However, we would expect some more spirited efforts from you.

Course Structure

The course comprises of

  • reading suggested research papers and attending lectures;
  • solving small homework assignments;
  • working on a research/implementation project during the semester;
  • and taking the final exam.
Your grade in the course depends upon the following four task:
Final Exam: 60%
Project: 40%
One has to obtain 50% marks in both tasks to pass the course.
Lecture notes (slides) and other reading material are available on Piazza. However, some concepts will only be described during lectures and tutorials on blackbroad and we encourage students to attend the lectures.

Expected Course Schedule

118/04/2013Course Introduction; Privacy Attacks; Differential Privacy
225/04/2013Differential Privacy
302/05/2013Application: Web Analytics
409/05/2013Public Holiday (Ascension)
516/05/2013Private Information Retrieval
623/05/2013Application: Privacy Preserving Online Advertising
730/05/2013Public Holiday (Corpus Christi)
806/06/2013Oblivious Data Access
913/06/2013Anonymity and Circumvention Technologies
1020/06/2013Anonymity and Circumvention Technologies
1127/06/2013Anonymous Credential Systems
124/07/2013Anonymous Credential Systems
1311/07/2013Trusted Computing
1418/07/2013Electronic Voting
1525/07/2013Final Exam

Useful Links

  • A nice article about paper reading: How To Read a Paper by S. Keshav [PDF]