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Privacy and Confidentiality Committee Highlights Key Conferences

1 July 2024 No Comment
About the Committee

The ASA Privacy and Confidentiality Committee is composed of nine members who represent the views of academic, government, industry, and nonprofit statisticians engaged in data privacy and confidentiality methods and policy. The committee’s charge is the following:

  • To keep track of privacy and confidentiality policy and legal developments (including guidelines, legislation, laws, regulations), technical developments (data, statistical, and computational techniques), and their interrelation
  • To serve as a focal point within the ASA for contact with other communities on matters related to privacy and confidentiality
  • To communicate and educate the statistical community about the legal environment and technical developments related to privacy and confidentiality

For more information, contact promotion subcommittee members Monika Hu and Joshua Snoke.

To raise awareness of conferences about statistical privacy and confidentiality among the American Statistical Association membership, the Privacy and Confidentiality Committee highlights the following past and upcoming conferences:

The National Bureau of Economic Research conference Data Privacy Protection and the Conduct of Applied Research: Methods, Approaches, and their Consequences was held in Washington, DC, May 16–17 and live streamed on its YouTube channel. The talks came from a wide range of topics, including survey methodology, synthetic data and alternatives, privacy compliance, formal privacy techniques, and utility and privacy in design. There were also two discussion sessions on data governance and utility and formal privacy. About the conference, presenter Aaron Williams of the Urban Institute said the following:

NBER’s conference was an excellent opportunity to meet experts, to explore cutting-edge privacy research, and to get valuable feedback for ongoing work. The statisticians, economists, and computer scientists in attendance came from varied backgrounds but were united in their interests in safely expanding access to data for research. There was never a lull during the two-day event because every attendee brought energy and curiosity to the conference.

The Seventh International Conference on Establishment Statistics took place in Glasgow, Scotland, June 17–20. There was an introductory-level short course titled “Navigating the Privacy-Utility Tradeoff: An Introduction to Data Privacy Techniques” and five sessions about privacy and disclosure control techniques for establishments, including synthetic data and differential privacy.

At the Joint Statistical Meetings, to be held in Portland, Oregon, August 3–8, there will be 24 sessions related to privacy and confidentiality. These sessions include a professional development course, introductory overview lecture, six invited paper sessions, five invited panel sessions, five topic-contributed paper sessions, two topic-contributed panel sessions, and four contributed paper sessions.

Finally, there will be two privacy and confidentiality conferences in September. The new biannual Privacy and Public Policy Conference will be held in Washington, DC, September 13–14. Its goal is to foster and enhance collaboration among privacy experts, researchers, data stewards, data practitioners, and public policymakers. It will feature an opening keynote panel and two days of talks, working roundtables, and a poster session.

The biannual Privacy in Statistical Databases will be held in Antibes Juan-les-Pins, France, September 25–27. It includes three days of talks about finding tradeoffs to the tension between the increasing societal and economic demand for accurate information and the legal and ethical obligation to protect the privacy of individuals and enterprises, which are the respondents providing the statistical data.

Registration is open for all upcoming conferences.

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