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Feds Grapple With Big Data Vs. Privacy
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WKash
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WKash,
User Rank: Author
3/4/2014 | 6:26:18 PM
If history is any indication
If history is any indication, the White House has shown it's able to assemble great minds to assess and recommend approaches to tough-to-solve problems -- but that too often, the recommendations run into the realitiy of politics.  In this case, because the issues of privacy also involve how the public and private sector work together, the challenges rise exponentially.  What have any of you seen in the way of smart resources that might help the White House and John Podesta?

 
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
3/4/2014 | 6:31:38 PM
Re: If history is any indication
The government hasn't shown much restraint when it comes to its desire for data. Is there any reason to believe it has suddenly decided to abstain?
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Ninja
3/4/2014 | 8:52:32 PM
Re: If history is any indication
@Thomas if the government want to tap your data, I believe it will, no matter what public pronoucements it makes about respecting privacy. 
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Ninja
3/5/2014 | 2:06:38 AM
Re: If history is any indication
Ariella, 

Speaking of public pronoucements and history, the US government is famous for having made the public and media believe what it was more convenient for the government at the time, in many cases this is used as a distraction. The same applies now. 

-Susan  
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Ninja
3/5/2014 | 7:11:18 AM
Re: If history is any indication
@Susan that's true. People are all too easily distracted in that way. 
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Ninja
3/8/2014 | 9:21:46 AM
Re: If history is any indication
Ariella, 

Yes. That distraction let's them play a double game. And everyone is happy living in the lies of distraction. So why change? Meanwhile, now with more ways of knowing how your privacy is being taken away, and with more means of distributing information there is a need for bigger distractions. 

-Susan 
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Ninja
3/8/2014 | 10:39:28 PM
Re: If history is any indication
@Susan that's a very accurate descritption of the situation.
Ulf Mattsson
IW Pick
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Ulf Mattsson,
User Rank: Strategist
3/5/2014 | 1:28:05 PM
The right balance between privacy and data insight
I agree that the privacy dream is "That we have a database with useful but private information and we have a curator that wants to take this data and sanitize it, so data analysts can only interact with the sanitized data set", but many mistakes can be made with data sets to be used for general purposes.

I read about a few examples in the paper "Why Pseudonyms Don't Anonymize: A Computational Re-identification Analysis of Genomic Data Privacy Protection Systems" written by the Data Privacy Laboratory, School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. The conclusion was that "this work illustrates the danger of blindly adopting identity protection methods for genomic data. Future methods must account for inferences that can be leaked from the data itself and the environment into which the data is being released in order to provide guarantees of privacy. While the protection methods reviewed in this paper provide a base for future protection strategies, our analyses provide guideposts for the development of provable privacy protecting methods."

I think that separate data sets should be produced for specific purposes and that sensitive data fields should be secured to minimize the risk of data inferences. We never know where this data will eventually end up in a data breach.

Data tokenization can provide the right balance between privacy and data insight in many situations.

In some situations I've seen suggestions that services that deliver result sets to specific queries instead of exposing the raw data (from different sources) could be attractive for some use cases. This can protect the privacy of the individuals and also the privacy of the different sources of data. A great source for this approach can be found in the paper "Distributed Anonymization: Achieving Privacy for Both Data Subjects and Data Providers" written by Pawel Jurczyk and Li Xiong at Emory University, Atlanta.

Ulf Mattsson, CTO Protegrity
Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
3/5/2014 | 6:34:14 PM
Citizen privacy must be a central tenet of the campaign
If good policy is formulated to protect privacy, we still need a general election and a Presidential contest in which implimentation of the policy is a central tenet. We're not there yet. But we might get there.


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