The Privacy Year, funded by Penn State, BU’s Hariri Institute, BU’s RISCS, and Harvard’s CRCS, brings three top data privacy researchers to BU. It focuses on research on data privacy and includes workshops and a seminar series to ensure a wide dissemination of the research results and a dialog between privacy researchers and consumers of privacy technology.
Data privacy issues arise in many domains that deal with sensitive information, ranging from social sciences and economics to government policy and health. The goal of research on this topic is to facilitate collection of sensitive data, its analysis, and sharing of insights, while protecting privacy of individuals and organizations whose data is used. Current research challenges include designing efficient and scalable algorithms for the private analysis of data; refining connections with other fields such as machine learning and game theory to develop broadly applicable methodology; and developing domain-specific techniques for data analysis in medicine and the social and behavioral sciences.
The main focus of the Privacy Year will be collaborations between the three long-term visitors–Kobbi Nissim, Sofya Raskhodnikova and Adam Smith–and BU faculty and graduate students, both on Charles River Campus and on the Medical Campus. Activities also include short-term visitors, an ongoing seminar series, and workshops.