Location Confidentiality and Official Surveys. Social Science Research Network [Internet]. 2016.
In general, the growth of big data sources have changed the threat landscape of privacy and statistics in at least three major ways. First, when surveys were initially founded as the principal source of statistical information, whether one participated in a survey was largely unknown. Now, as government record systems and corporate big data sources are increasingly used that include all or a large portion of a given universe, that privacy protection is eroded. Second, in the past, little outside information was generally available to match with published summaries. Now the ubiquity of auxiliary information enables many more inferences from summary data. Third, in the past, typical privacy attacks relied on linking outside data through well-known public characteristics -- PII or BII. Now, datasets can be linked through behavioral fingerprints. The current state of the practice in privacy lags well behind the state of the art in this area. Most commercial organizations, and most NSOs in other countries continue to rely (at most) on traditional aggregation and suppression methods to protect privacy – with no formal analysis of privacy loss or of the utility of the information gathered. The U.S. Census Bureau, because of its size, institutional capacity, and strong reputation for privacy protection could establish leadership in modernizing privacy practices.
Elements of a New Ethical and Regulatory Framework for Big Data Research. Washington and Lee Law Review [Internet]. 2016;72(3):420-442. Publisher's VersionAbstract.
Vast quantities of data about individuals are increasingly being created by services such as mobile apps and online social networks and through methods such as DNA sequencing. These data are quite rich, containing a large number of fine-grained data points related to human biology, characteristics, behaviors, and relationships over time.
Privacy Tools project response to Common Rule Notice of Proposed Rule Making. Comments on Regulation.Gov [Internet]. 2016. Publisher's VersionAbstract.
This is a Comment on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Proposed Rule: Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects We recognize the exciting research opportunities enabled by new data sources and technologies for collecting, analyzing, and sharing data about individuals. With the ability to collect and analyze massive quantities of data related to human characteristics, behaviors, and interactions, researchers are increasingly able to explore phenomena in finer detail and with greater confidence. At the same time, a 2 major challenge for realizing the full potential of these recent advances will be protecting the privacy of human subjects. Approaches to privacy protection in common use in both research and industry contexts often provide limited realworld privacy protection. We believe institutional review boards (IRBs) and investigators require new guidance to inform their selection and implementation of appropriate measures for privacy protection in human subjects research. Therefore, we share many of the same concerns and rec
Towards a Modern Approach to Privacy-Aware Government Data Releases Publisher's Version. Berkeley Journal of Technology Law [Internet]. 2016.
Written Evidence in Response to "What next on the redrawing of Parliamentary boundaries?". [Internet]. 2015. All Written Testimony - Parliament Select CommitteeAbstract
Invited written testimony queries on how to improve public input into the Boundary Commission for England. This testimony summarizes both our research into public participation in electoral delimitations, and our professional experience in conducting boundary delimitation.