16:198:671 Privacy in a Networked World

16:198:671 Privacy in a Networked World

Prof. Rebecca Wright
Rutgers University
Fall 2008

Time: Mondays and Wednesdays, 5:00pm - 6:20pm
Location: CoRE Building, Room 301 (CoRE A)

Course description

Go to: Syllabus | Reading and other resources | Grading | Projects

Increasing use of computers and networks in business, government, recreation, and almost all aspects of daily life has led to a proliferation of online sensitive data, i.e., data that, if used improperly, can harm the data subjects. As a result, concern about the ownership, control, privacy, and accuracy of these data has become a top priority. This course focuses on both the technical challenges of handling sensitive data and the policy and legal issues facing data subjects, data owners, and data users.

Specific topics to be discussed will include:

This course is suitable for graduate students in computer science, advanced undergraduate computer science majors, and students in other programs with some computer science background. Course readings will draw on a variety of sources, including both technical materials and the popular press. The course will include a privacy-related project. Projects are largely student-directed, and can include activities such as a programming project, a research paper describing new results (or documenting failed attempts to obtain such results), a survey article describing the state of the art in a particular research area, a public policy or legal argument, or an article suitable for the popular press.

We will start some of our class meetings with a discussion of one or more privacy-related case studies. For each, we will frame our discussion around a series of questions. Please bring the questions with you to every class.

Grading

70% of your grade is determined by a course project, which is due in four "deliverables" plus an in-class presentation. Each deliverable should reflect thoughtful revision of earlier work as well as new work. 30% of your grade is based on your the quality and quantity of your participation in class discussion. Quantity without quality will be penalized.

15% Project: initial proposals Due Sep. 29
10% Project: revised proposals Due Oct. 13
15% Project: interim reports Due Nov. 10
15% Project: final reports Due Dec. 3
15% Project: final presentations Dec. 8 and 10
30% Class participation Throughout

Each project component is due at the start of class on the specified day. Lateness on any project deliverable will be penalized at a rate of 5% of the available points per day.

Syllabus

Here is a partial syllabus, to be extended as the semester progresses.

Date Topics Assigned Reading / Project Deliverables
Wed, Sept 3 Introduction
Mon, Sept 8 Introduction, cont'd. Untraceable electronic mail, return addresses, and digital pseudonyms
Wed, Sept 10 Case study: Google street view and "private" roads,
Discuss class projects,
Fair Information Practices
Mon, Sept 15 Fair Information Practices, cont'd.
Cryptography basics
No Place to Hide: Intro, Chapters 1 and 2
Wed, Sept 17 Mix Nets and Pseudonyms No Place to Hide: Chapters 3 and 4
Mon, Sept 22 Anonymous Communication: Tor
(See Roger Dingledine's slides from the 24th Chaos Communication Congress, Berlin, Germany, December 2007.
Also relevant is Deanonymizing Tor, presented by Nathan Evans and Christian Gorthoff at Defcon 2008.)
No Place to Hide: Chapters 5 and 6
Privacy-enhancing technologies for the Internet, II: Five years later
Wed, Sept 24 Case study: Google and data retention
(see http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2008/09/another-step-to-protect-user-privacy.html and links therein)
No Place to Hide: Chapter 7 and 8
Mon, Sept 29 Anonymous Web Browsing: Crowds, Degrees of Anonymity Initial project proposals due
Wed, Oct 1 Anonymous Web Browsing: Crowds, Degrees of Anonymity No Place to Hide: Chapters 9 and 10
Crowds: Anonymity for Web Transactions
You may also want to read or skim Hordes - A Multicast Based Protocol for Anonymity and Probabilistic Model Checking of an Anonymity System
Mon, Oct 6 Privacy for Published Databases and Aggregate Queries: Statistical Databases Database Nation: Chapters 1 and 2
Wed, Oct 8 Privacy for Published Databases and Aggregate Queries: k-anonymity and other clustering methods Database Nation: Chapters 3 and 4 Papers to discuss (optional reading): K-anonymity: a model for protecting privacy, L-diversity: Privacy Beyond k-Anonymity, t-Closeness: Privacy Beyond k-Anonymity and l-Diversity, and The Cost of Privacy: Destruction of Data-Mining Utility in Anonymized Data Publishing.
Mon, Oct 13 Privacy for Published Databases and Aggregate Queries: Differential Privacy Revised project proposals due
Cynthia Dwork's survey paper on differential privacy
Wed, Oct 15 Privacy for Published Databases and Aggregate Queries: Differential Privacy Database Nation: Chapters 5 and 6
Optional reading: Additional differential privacy papers.
Mon, Oct 20 Privacy and the law Database Nation: Chapters 7 and 8
Wed, Oct 22 Privacy and the law Database Nation: Chapters 9 and 10

Mon, Oct 27 Secure Multiparty Computation
Case study: travel screening. (See www.tsa.gov/what_we_do/layers/secureflight/index.shtm and www.eff.org/issues/travel-screening and links therein.)
Database Nation: Chapter 11
Wed, Oct 29 Privacy-preserving data mining
Mon, Nov 3 Privacy-preserving data mining
Wed, Nov 5 Privacy-preserving data mining
Mon, Nov 10 National security and privacy The U.S. Department of Homeland Security 2008-2013 Strategic Plan is required reading. You may also find it interesting to browse their Privacy Office web pages.
Protecting Individual Privacy in the Struggle Against Terrorists: A Framework for Program Assessment. Only the Executive Summary is required reading (pdf).
Project interim reports due
Wed, Nov 12 Economics of Privacy Required reading: Robert Gellman's paper on Privacy, Consumers, and Costs
Optional reading: You may also wish to browse some of the papers and other resources at Alessandro Acquisti's page on The Economics of Privacy.
Mon, Nov 17 Brian Thompson presents Social Role-Preserving Anonymization of Graphs
Wed, Nov 19 No class
Mon, Nov 24 Privacy Policies and related tools Creating a Policy-Aware Web: Discretionary, Rule-based Access for the World Wide Web
Wed, Nov 26 Friday schedule: no class
Mon, Dec 1 Privacy and Social Networks
Wed, Dec 3 Final project presentations: Saman Final project reports due
Presentation schedule and pointers
Mon, Dec 8 Final project presentations: Pravin; Chih-Cheng and Qian
Wed, Dec 10 Final project presentations: Brian and Huijun

Required Reading and Other Resources

Course readings will draw on a variety of sources, including both technical materials and the popular press.

Required reading:

You are responsible for reading the assigned material for each class before the class, so that you can participate fully in class discussions.

Additional required readings may be added later.

Other Resources:

Some readings and other resources you may find interesting and/or helpful for your project as below. More will be added throughout the semester.

Projects

Most of your grade will be determined by a privacy-related course project, which is due in four "deliverables" plus a final presentation, as detailed above. Projects are largely student-directed, and can include activities such as a programming project, a research paper describing new results (or documenting failed attempts to obtain such results), a survey article describing the state of the art in a particular research area, a "term paper", or an article suitable for the popular press. See more information about the projects, including a detailed description of your responsibilities and suggestions for possible projects.


Last updated 12/2/08 by
rebecca.wright (at) rutgers.edu
Copyright © 2008 Rebecca N. Wright