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Privacy in the Age of Big Data  

In a well researched article, Privacy in the Age of Big Data, Prof. Omer Tene & Jules Polonetsky bring up some really interesting arguments for privacy in the big data age, that we currently are. Good read if you are dealing with big data.

The harvesting of large data sets and the use of analytics clearly implicate privacy concerns. The tasks of ensuring data security and protecting privacy become harder as information is multiplied and shared ever more widely around the world. Information regarding individuals’ health, location, electricity use, and online activity is exposed to scrutiny, raising concerns about profiling, discrimination, exclusion, and loss of control. Traditionally, organizations used various methods of de-identification (anonymization, pseudonymization, encryption, key-coding, data sharding) to distance data from real identities and allow analysis to proceed while at the same time containing privacy concerns. Over the past few years, however, computer scientists have repeatedly shown that even anonymized data can often be re-identified and attributed to specific individuals.[7] In an influential law review article, Paul Ohm observed that “[r]eidentification science disrupts the privacy policy landscape by undermining the faith that we have placed in anonymization.”[8] The implications for government and businesses can be stark, given that de-identification has become a key component of numerous business models, most notably in the contexts of health data (regarding clinical trials, for example), online behavioral advertising, and cloud computing.

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Written by Guru Kirthigavasan

February 4th, 2012 at 11:45 pm

So Much Data, So Little Encryption  

If you go solely by top-level stats on encryption use, you’ll come away feeling pretty secure–86% of the the 499 business technology professionals responding to our InformationWeek Analytics State of Encryption Survey employ encryption of some type. But that finding doesn’t begin to tell the real story. Only 14% of respondents say encryption is pervasive in their organizations. Database table-level encryption is in use by just 26%, while just 38% encrypt data on mobile devices. And 31%–more than any other response–characterize the extent of their use as just enough to meet regulatory requirements.

The reasons for this dismal state of affairs range from cost and integration challenges to entrenched organizational resistance exacerbated by a lack of leadership. The compliance focus is particularly galling. Encrypting a subset of data amounts to a “get-out-of-jail-free card” because it may relieve companies from having to notify customers of a breach. But knowingly doing the bare minimum to check a compliance box isn’t security; it’s a cop-out.

From an interesting post.

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Written by Guru Kirthigavasan

November 21st, 2009 at 4:31 am