Abstract: Formally launched in 2011, the Privacy Tools Project began as a broad, multidisciplinary effort to help enable the collection, analysis, and sharing of sensitive data for research while providing privacy for human subjects. Bringing together computer science, social science, statistics, and law, we have sought to refine and develop definitions and measures of privacy and data utility, and design an array of technological, legal, and policy tools for dealing with sensitive data. In this talk, I will discuss how our interdisciplinary team translated these common goals into concrete directions for research, education, and outreach. I will also reflect on some of the lessons we learned along the way, about both data privacy and interdisciplinary collaboration, and express our hopes for the outcomes of today’s workshop.
Bio: Salil Vadhan is the Vicky Joseph Professor of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics and Area Chair for Computer Science in the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering & Applied Sciences. He is Lead PI on the “Privacy Tools for Sharing Research Data” project. Vadhan’s research in theoretical computer science spans differential privacy, computational complexity, and cryptography. His honors include a Harvard College Professorship, a Simons Investigator Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.