Advancing Knowledge Regarding Practical Solutions for De-Identification of Personal Data: A Call for Papers

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De-identification of personal information plays a central role in current privacy policy, law, and practice.  Yet there are deep disagreements about the efficacy of de-identification to mitigate privacy risks.  Some critics argue that it is impossible to eliminate privacy harms from publicly released data using de-identification because other available data sets will allow attackers to identify individuals through linkage attacks. Defenders of de-identification counter that despite the theoretical and demonstrated ability to mount such attacks, the likelihood of re-identification for most data sets remains minimal. As a practical matter, they argue most data sets remain securely de-identified based on established techniques.

There is not agreement regarding the technical questions underlying the de-identification debate, nor is there consensus over how best to advance the discussion about the benefits and limits of de-identification.  The growing use of open data holds great promise for individuals and society, but also brings risk. And the need for sound principles governing data release has never been greater.

To help address these challenges, the Brussels Privacy Symposium, a joint program of FPF and the Brussels Privacy Hub of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Free University of Brussels or VUB), is pleased to announce an academic workshop and call for papers on Identifiability: Policy and Practical Solutions for Anonymization and Pseudonymization. Abstracts are due August 1, 2016, with full papers to follow on October 1, 2016. Selected papers will be considered for publication in a special symposium of International Data Privacy Law, a law journal published by Oxford University Press. In addition, authors will be invited to present at a workshop titled Identifiability: Policy and Practical Solutions for Anonymization and Pseudonymization in Brussels on November 8.

Authors from multiple disciplines including law, computer science, statistics, engineering, social science, ethics and business are invited to submit papers for presentation at a full-day program to take place in Brussels on November 8, 2016.

Submissions must be 2,500 to 3,500 words with minimal footnotes and in a readable style accessible to a wide academic audience. Abstracts must be submitted no later than August 1, 2016, at 11:59 PM ET, to [email protected]. Papers must be submitted no later than October 1, 2016, at 11:59 PM ET, to [email protected].  Publication decisions and workshop invitations will be sent in October.

Full Details Regarding the Call for Papers