Data Anonymization and Re-identification Lecture Featuring Paul Ohm, SCU, April 7

By Eric Goldman

University of Colorado law professor Paul Ohm has written one of the most provocative privacy-related papers of the past few years, Broken Promises of Privacy: Responding to the Surprising Failure of Anonymization. Using examples such as the AOL “Data Valdez” release of search logs and the NetFlix personalization contest, he shows that seemingly innocuous datasets can still become personally identifiable when combined with other data sources. This puts significant pressure on our regulatory distinctions between “personally identifiable information” and non-personally identifiable information, as the combination of datasets can convert non-PII into PII. The implications potentially shake the privacy literature to its core.

Paul will be presenting his research on April 7, 6-8 pm, at SCU. I’ve heard Paul present this paper a few times and it’s always a treat. To spice things up, we’ll have two commenters on his work: Cynthia Dwork, a computer scientist at Microsoft, and Chad Raphael, an SCU communication professors. The event is free, and it includes an hour of free CLE if you want it. You can register through this URL. Hope to see you there.