What the Surprising Failure of Data Anonymization
Means for Law and Policy
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
6:00 – 7:15 pm panel discussion
7:15 – 8:00 pm reception
Paul Ohm, Associate Professor of Law
University of Colorado Law School
with commentary by
Cynthia Dwork, Distinguished Scientist, Microsoft
Chad Raphael, Associate Professor of Communication, Santa Clara University
Computer scientists have recently undermined our faith in the privacy-protecting power of anonymization, the name for techniques for protecting the privacy of individuals in large databases by deleting information like names and social security numbers. These scientists have demonstrated they can often 'reidentify' or 'deanonymize' individuals hidden in anonymized data with astonishing ease. By understanding this research, we will realize we have made a mistake, labored beneath a fundamental misunderstanding, which has assured us much less privacy than we have assumed. This mistake pervades nearly every information privacy law, regulation, and debate, yet regulators and legal scholars have paid it scant attention. In this talk, Professor Ohm will discuss what policymakers and lawyers must do to respond to the surprising failure of anonymization.
For information on research related to privacy issues in data analysis click here
This event will qualify for one hour of MCLE. Santa Clara Law is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider.
Part of the IT, Ethics & Law Colloquium Series cosponsored by the High Tech Law Institute; the Center for Science, Technology, & Society; and the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.