De-Identification and reidentification

How unique are you?

How unique are you? We played with a data privacy tool today here at WPF that showed us if the combination of our birthdate and zip code made us statistically unique. The more unique you are, the more identifiable you are in a sea of supposedly “anonymous” data. This tool was developed by Dr. LaTanya Sweeney at Harvard’s Data Privacy Lab, and using it will tell you how easily you can be identified from records that may not even have your name on them.

WPF Asks Presidential Commission to Protect Genetic Privacy

Genetic Privacy | Bioethics — WPF filed comments with the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethics today urging the Commission to recognize the need for enhanced genetic privacy protections in a digital world. WPF noted that “The increasing identifiability of genetic data presents major privacy issues for research activities that must be acknowledged and addressed.” WPF suggested four key ways that Certificate of Confidentiality programs could be enhanced for privacy protection, and urged the Commission to speak out about the importance of protecting patient privacy in research activities involving genetic information. “The Commission should advocate providing patients with reasonable controls over research uses of their data as electronic records develop and spread throughout the health care system.” Public comments may be submitted to the Commission until May 25, 2012.

WPF opposes censorship bills; supports right to create and use anonymization tools to protect privacy

Stop SOPA & PIPA —- The World Privacy Forum is deeply concerned about the profound, far-reaching privacy consequences of two bills, SOPA and PIPA. The bills have many negative aspects. In terms of the privacy impacts, one of the serious consequences is that the right to create and use anonymization software tools would be essentailly

Report Announcement: Privacy in the Clouds

WPF report announcement — The World Privacy Forum’s newest report examines the privacy and confidentiality issues of cloud computing that have been largely overlooked to date. It is a thorough analysis with policy findings.

Privacy in the Clouds: Risks to Privacy and Confidentiality from Cloud Computing was written by Robert Gellman for the World Privacy Forum.

Cloud computing tips for consumers and business are also available.