By Brendon Lynch, chief privacy officer, Microsoft
At Microsoft, we have some of the world’s top privacy researchers working on a wide variety of interesting challenges. We strive to translate this research into new privacy-enhancing technologies.
Today, we’re releasing a new whitepaper on Microsoft’s research in Differential Privacy written by Javier Salido on my team. To help set the stage, I’d like to provide some background on this timely topic.
Over the past few years, research has shown that ensuring the privacy of individuals in databases can be extremely difficult even after personally identifiable information (e.g., names, addresses and Social Security numbers) has been removed from these databases. According to researchers, this is because it is often possible, with enough effort, to correlate databases using information that is traditionally not considered identifiable. If any one of the correlated databases contains information that can be linked back to an individual, then information in the others may be link-able as well.
Posted by Jacqueline Beauchere, director, Trustworthy Computing Communications, Microsoft
Fewer than 15 percent of U.S. undergraduates are pursuing degrees in science and engineering. U.S. math and science test scores lag those of other nations, chiefly China and India. U.S. high schools are falling behind the rest of the world in computer science, and too few women and minorities are employed in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.
STEM subjects are arguably the foundation of our global economic future. Such skills are essential for almost any job, and are certainly imperative for nations to compete in an evolving marketplace. Indeed, STEM expertise likely holds the key to daunting global challenges, such as healthcare, hunger, poverty, and climate change. The U.S. Labor Department projects that by 2014, the U.S. will have more than two million job openings in STEM fields. The bottom line is: Will we be able to fill them?
Calling all young people between the ages of 13 and 18*: Do you sing, act, write, or otherwise create? Get those creative juices flowing; put your “mad (artistic) skillz” to work, and help promote a positive message about life online. Today, Microsoft is launching its first-ever Safer Online Teen Challenge. Teens are encouraged to submit creative works that champion one of many key messages about being smarter and more secure on the Internet. Works must be submitted by April 12, 2013, and our hundreds of thousands of thoughtful and learned Facebook fans will help select winners in five inspired categories: song, story/cartoon, skit/presentation, survey, and video. All submissions require English translations, but works are welcome in any language and from basically every corner of the world. Successful submissions may be featured on Microsoft‘s web properties – visited by millions – and cool prizes will be awarded to the most popular, compelling, and inventive entries. The contest starts right in time for the December holidays, so teens can imagine and create their visions over the school break.
I was fortunate to join privacy regulators and practitioners from around the world last week in Brussels to kick off our latest @Microsoft Conversations in Privacy panel discussion and deliver a keynote at the IAPP European Data Protection Congress. Head over to the Microsoft on the Issues blog where I share insights from my trip and highlight how this kind of engagement with privacy stakeholders helps Microsoft deliver the strong privacy protections customers expect.