Privacy-Preserving Speaker Recognition with Cohort Score Normalisation


Andreas Nautsch, Jose Patino, Amos Treiber, Themos Stafylakis, Petr Mizera, Massimiliano Todisco, Thomas Schneider, Nicholas Evans


Audio Security and Privacy, Digital Security Department, EURECOM, France
Cryptography and Privacy Engineering, Department of Computer Science, TU Darmstadt, Germany
Omilia – Conversational Intelligence, Greece

Publication Date

July 8, 2019

In many voice biometrics applications there is a requirement to preserve privacy, not least because of the recently enforced General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Though progress in bringing privacy preservation to voice biometrics is lagging behind developments in other biometrics communities, recent years have seen rapid progress, with secure computation mechanisms such as homomorphic encryption being applied successfully to speaker recognition. Even so, the computational overhead incurred by processing speech data in the encrypted domain is substantial. While still tolerable for single biometric comparisons, most state-of-the-art systems perform some form of cohort-based score normalisation, requiring many thousands of biometric comparisons. The computational overhead is then prohibitive, meaning that one must accept either degraded performance (no score normalisation) or potential for privacy violations. This paper proposes the first computationally feasible approach to privacy-preserving cohort score normalisation. Our solution is a cohort pruning scheme based on secure multi-party computation which enables privacy-preserving score normalisation using probabilistic linear discriminant analysis (PLDA) comparisons. The solution operates upon binary voice representations. While the binarisation is lossy in biometric rank-1 performance, it supports computationally-feasible biometric rank-n comparisons in the encrypted domain.