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Narayanan et al. paper selected in top-5 Privacy Policy papers for 2016

The Future of Privacy Forum has selected 5 papers for "What Privacy Papers should Policymakers be Reading in 2016?".  Among these is "A precautionary approach to Big Data privacy," by Professor Arvind Narayanan of the Princeton CS department and CITP, (Princeton's Center for Information Technology Policy); Joanna Huey, Associate Director of CITP; and Professor Ed Felten of CS and CITP.

The paper focuses on the risks of "reidentification."  It's common to try to "anonymize" datasets by erasing names and SSNs, for example; but Professor Narayanan's research has shown (over and over and over)  that it's not hard to "deanonymize" the data by putting two and two together. In this new policy paper, the authors argue that these attacks will only get stronger, so it's a mistake to just consider known attacks when assessing whether's safe to release supposedly anonymized data. Then the paper suggests what policymakers can actually do about this.

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