Thursday 23rd of May: No live lecture

Written on 21.05.24 by Sylvain Chatel

Hi Everyone, 

Just a reminder that there will not be a live lecture this week on Thursday, May 23rd. 

The lecture will be recorded and uploaded early next week. 

Project 1 Submission

Written on 21.05.24 by Sylvain Chatel

We have opened the submission platform for Project 1. 

To submit your code:

We have opened the submission platform for Project 1. 

To submit your code:

  • Login to with your CMS credentials (via the Login with Github button).
  • Once logged in, wait while the system initialises your repository. This may take up to 15 minutes. Afterwards, you should see a repo named pets24-[0-9a-f]+, to which you are assigned Developer role.
  • Create a personal access token or upload your SSH key.
  • You can now clone the repository. Commit and push your code in the project1 branch. Test pipelines will run automatically after each push. You can check the test results in the output of job test.
  • Commit to your solution before the deadline.

First class today! Starting at 13:15h

Written on 18.04.24 by Wouter Lueks

Hi Everyone,

Today is the first lecture for the Privacy-Enhancing Technologies class. I'm looking forward to seeing many of you in person today. As per German tradition, the lecture will start at 13:15h.

You can find the slides for the lecture shortly before the start of the class in the materials section.

Privacy-Enhancing Technologies

Digital technologies have become an essential part of our day-to-day lives. While often beneficial, these technologies also bring great privacy risks. In this course, you will learn how to mitigate these risks by designing privacy-friendly systems and how to evaluate the privacy protections offered by systems.

To reason about the privacy of systems you will learn how to define desirable privacy properties and how to reason about privacy attackers. Privacy can be violated both at the application level (i.e., what data parties exchange) as well as on the meta-data level (i.e., how parties exchange data). You will learn about techniques to offer protection at both of these layers.

On the application layer, we’ll discuss cryptographic techniques such as secure multi-party computation, homomorphic encryption, and anonymous authentication that together can be used to ensure privacy at the application layer. We will also discuss data anonymisation techniques such as k-anonymity and differential privacy to enable privacy-friendly data publishing. On the meta-data level, we’ll explore techniques for anonymous communication, censorship resistance, (browser) tracking, and location privacy.

At the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Explain basic building blocks for designing privacy-friendly systems
  • Combine these building blocks to solve simple problems while maintaining privacy
  • Evaluate the privacy of simple proposed systems.


The privacy-enhancing technologies class is an advanced lecture. You will learn a lot about how to design and analyse privacy-friendly systems, but this is not an easy 6EC course. A basic understanding of security and cryptography (as taught for example in CySec1/CySec2 or the Security course) is essential to be able to follow the material in this course. If you have not mastered this material we strongly recommend you to take this course next year instead.


Main Lecture: Thursdays from 1pm to 3pm
Exercises: Thursdays from 3pm to 4pm
Room: E9.1 (CISPA building), room 0.05 (main lecture room)


The following schedule is subject to small changes.

  • April 18: Introduction to Privacy
  • April 25: Secure Multi-Party Computation
  • May 2: Privacy-Preserving Authentication
  • May 9: no class (Ascension Day)
  • May 16: Fully Homomorphic Encryption
  • May 23: Anonymous Communication
  • May 30: no class (Corpus Christi)
  • June 6: Censorship Resistance 
  • June 13: Tracking
  • June 20: Anonymization / Protected Data Release
  • June 27: Differential Privacy
  • July 4: Location Privacy


The course will be fully in-person, and attending the lectures and exercise sessions is highly recommended. Attending online is not possible. As a courtesy, we will make a best effort attempt to publish recordings of the lectures. You should not assume that recordings will be available. We will not publish recordings of the exercise sessions.

Learning to reason about privacy is difficult. We strongly recommend that you attend the exercise sessions to practice your reasoning skills.

Office Hours

Location: CISPA, E9 1, room 1.02

Times: Tuesdays 9am-10am; Thursdays 11am-noon.

Exceptions: May 9th, May 30st, July dates TBD.



The final grade for this course consists of 60% for the final exam and 40% for the projects.

Grading subject to small changes. Details will be explained in the first lecture.


As part of this class you will work on three projects to implement and evaluate a privacy-preserving system. The projects contribute 40% to the final grade: 10% for the first project and 15% for each of the second and third projects. There is no option to improve the grade for the projects.

Midterm Exercise Set

There is a midterm exercises set. Possible grades are: Fail or Pass. A passing grade is required to be allowed to participate in the exam. If you receive a Fail (and only if you receive a Fail) you will have the opportunity to improve your submission.

Final Exam

Exam date: July 11, 2pm--4pm (tentative)
Format: Written exam
Location: CISPA, E9 1, room 0.05

The final written exam tests your understanding of the material covered in the class, exercises, and projects. You must receive a passing grade on the exam alone. If you do, the exam is graded and contributes 60% to the final grade. Having received a passing grade for the midterm exercise set is required  to be allowed to participate in the exam.

The re-exam will take place on TBD:

Exam date: TBA
Format (to be confirmed): TBD
Location: TBA

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I still take this course if I took “Privacy Enhancing Technologies” (2021) before?

Yes. The Privacy Enhancing Technologies course of 2021 taught by Yang Zhang is very different from the current version of the course. You are therefore allowed to take both courses. However if you took the 2021 course, you must inform the lecturer as soon as possible. Failure to do so means we cannot award you a grade.

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