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15-394 Special Topic: Privacy and Anonymity in Data
This course introduces students to the identifiability of data, record linkage, data profiling, data fusion, data anonymity and privacy protection. This knowledge is timely because society is experiencing exponential growth in the number and variety of person-specific data collected and shared. Students learn to identify and control inferences that can be drawn from such data. In the first part of this course, students learn to be data detectives and exploit information that is publicly available in order to build sensitive profiles and identify individuals from seemingly anonymous data. In the second part of the course, students learn new privacy protocols and anonymity protection schemes and then assume the responsibility of producing public-use files for data holders. Students then attempt to compromise each other's releases. Examples are drawn from criminal data, financial data, web use, declassification efforts, medical information, and bio-terrorism and counter-terrorism efforts. The course ends with students attempting to bridge the technical challenges and solutions with effective policies (examinations include medical privacy legislation, HIPAA, video surveillance laws and bio-terrorism and counter-terrorism laws). Related topics are drawn from: data mining, information retrieval, web technology, computer security, cryptography, relational databases, statistics and political philosophy.
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No sections available for semester Spring 2005.
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