Latanya Sweeney

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Latanya Sweeney
Latanya Arvette Sweeney.jpg
Professor Sweeney speaking about social security numbers
Fields Computer Science
Institutions Harvard University
Known for k-anonymity

Latanya Arvette Sweeney is a Professor of Government and Technology in Residence at Harvard University and the Director of the Data Privacy Lab in the Institute of Quantitative Social Science (IQSS) at Harvard.[1] She served as the Chief Technologist of the Federal Trade Commission, a position she has held from January 2014 until December 2014.[2][3] She has made several contributions to privacy technology. Her best known academic work is on the theory of k-anonymity and she is credited with the observation that "87% of the U.S. population is uniquely identified by date of birth, gender, postal code."[4]

Sweeney develops technology to assess and solve societal problems and teaches others how to use the same technology. She has made several discoveries related to identifiability and privacy technologies. Her work has received awards from numerous organizations, including the American Psychiatric Association, the American Medical Informatics Association, and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Her work was praised in the TAPAC Report that reviewed the Total Information Awareness Project of DARPA. She has testified before the Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee of the Department of Homeland Security and the European Union Commission. Sweeney was a Distinguished Career Professor of Computer Science, Technology and Policy in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. In 2001, she received her PhD in computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she became the first African American woman to earn a PhD in computer science from that school.[5] Her undergraduate degree in computer science was completed at Harvard University.[6]

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  1. ^ "Latanya Sweeney". Harvard University, Department of Government. Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "FTC Names Latanya Sweeney as Chief Technologist; Andrea Matwyshyn as Policy Advisor". Federal Trade Commission. November 18, 2013. Retrieved August 6, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Hello world! | Federal Trade Commission". Retrieved 2016-03-22. 
  4. ^ L. Sweeney. "Simple Demographics Often Identify People Uniquely (Data Privacy Working Paper 3) Pittsburgh 2000." (PDF). Carnegie Mellon University. Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "New faculty deans appointed". Harvard Gazette. 9 May 2016. Retrieved 2016-06-06. 
  6. ^ "Biographical sketches of Latanya Sweeney". Data Privacy Lab, Harvard University. Retrieved 18 January 2014. 

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