Update on the OpenDP-Microsoft Collaboration

Gary King, OpenDP Faculty Co-Director


In September 2019, Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science announced a large-scale collaboration with Microsoft to develop open source tools for differential privacy, work that is now part of the broader OpenDP community effort. We are thrilled to report on the progress our collaboration has made, and we write today to report on two lines of substantial progress.


First, we are announcing Microsoft’s grant of a royalty-free license for its differential privacy patents to the world through OpenDP. This is a significant contribution to the world and our work, not the least of which is because the Microsoft Research Silicon Valley lab was the birthplace of differential privacy a decade and a half ago.


Second, we have released, with Microsoft, OpenDP’s first end-to-end operational differential privacy system. This software is usable for certain low-risk applications with a trusted analyst now and we expect it to grow and improve over time as we see how it operates in the field. It will be adapted to integrate with the OpenDP Commons that we collectively build over the coming months. OpenDP has a long road ahead of it, but this is an important step.


This has turned out for us to be an exciting project for us and productive industry-academia collaboration. We look forward to others and to what we all do together next.


Gary King,

Co-faculty Director, OpenDP

Director Institute for Quantitative Social Science

Harvard University

June 24, 2020

See also: Partnerships