How Anonymous Is My Anonymized Data?

Tuesday, January 28, 2020 - 1:30 pm2:00 pm

Matt Bishop, Department of Computer Science, University of California, Davis


Data anonymization focuses on hiding specific fields of records. Adversaries, however, view the records as a collection of fields and see what they can glean from the unanonymized fields that will impart information about the anonymized fields. In reality, the problem is one of relationships—which relationships can be exploited to reveal anonymized information. There is always some external information that enables the relationships to be uncovered. This talk examines the question of relationships and their role in anonymizing and deanonymizing data, and treat this as a problem of risk—can the adversaries characterize that external data and find it?

Matt Bishop, Department of Computer Science, University of California, Davis

Matt Bishop received his Ph.D. from Purdue University in 1984, and is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of California at Davis. His main research area is the analysis of vulnerabilities in computer systems, and works on data sanitization, elections and e-voting systems, policy, formal modeling, the insider threat, and computer and information security education. He co-led the California Top-to-Bottom Review of electronic voting systems certified in California, and also co-led the Joint Task Force that developed the ACM/IEEE/ASIS SIGSAC/IFIP WG10.8 Cybersecurity Curricular Guidelines. The second edition of his textbook, "Computer Security: Art and Science", was published in November 2018 by Addison-Wesley Professional. Among other topics, he teaches programing and computer security.

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@conference {244716,
author = {Matt Bishop},
title = {How Anonymous Is My Anonymized Data?},
year = {2020},
address = {San Francisco, CA},
publisher = {{USENIX} Association},
month = jan,