The Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) has received a $300,000, two-year grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish a Privacy Research and Data Responsibility Research Coordination Network (RCN). The RCN will produce a community of academic researchers and industry practitioners to support industry-academic cooperation to address research priorities identified in the Administration’s recently released National Privacy Research Strategy (NPRS). The NPRS identifies several priorities for privacy research including increasing transparency of data collection, sharing, use and retention; ensuring that information flows and use are consistent with privacy rules; and reducing privacy risks of analytical algorithms.
The NSF grant will provide FPF with the necessary support to launch and regularly convene the RCN, drawing on its relationships with industry chief privacy officers, academic researchers, regulators, lawyers, social scientists, civil rights advocates, social philanthropists, and government actors, to facilitate communication and sharing of information and ideas. The RCN will prompt industry action and advocate for privacy-aware approaches to collecting and processing personal information in a manner that respects individual privacy, equality and fairness.
Activities under the grant will include:
- an inaugural launch conference with expanded Privacy Papers for Policymakers event;
- a series of academic workshops and convening opportunities, incorporating both new and established academic programs; and
- network communications, including the introduction of a Privacy Scholarship Reporter.
“The overarching goal of the National Privacy Research Strategy is to produce knowledge and technology that will enable individuals, commercial entities, and the government to benefit from transformative technological advancements, enhance opportunities for innovation, and provide meaningful protections for personal information and individual privacy,” said Jules Polonetsky, FPF’s CEO. “At a time when industry actors are the custodians of a wide range of consumer data, bringing together corporate, academic, and advocacy constituents is critical to making practical privacy progress.”
The RCN will inform the public debate on privacy, provide useful information to policymakers, and contribute to the development of systems and products used to help society realize the benefits of networked information technology without sacrificing privacy and individual rights.