Microsoft Research Summit 2021
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Research talk: Towards bridging between legal and technical approaches to data protection

Speaker: Kobbi Nissim, Professor, Georgetown University

As computer systems become integrated into almost every aspect of society and are increasingly making decisions of legal significance, the need to bridge diverging (and sometimes conflicting) technical and legal approaches to data protection becomes urgent. In this talk, we will explore some of the gaps between technical and legal thinking around data protection and highlight the difficulty to reason about the adequacy of technical measures for satisfying legal data protection requirements. The researchers will demonstrate an approach where “legal theorems” are formulated and proved, and they will apply this approach to the notion of singling out from the GDPR. This will allow for making formal claims regarding the extent to which technologies such as k-anonymity and differential privacy satisfy the GDPR anonymization criteria. On one hand, a long-term goal for this line of research is to develop concepts that are technical—so they can be integrated in the design of computer systems. On the other hand, the goal is also that these concepts can be used in legal reasoning and for policymaking.

Learn more about the 2021 Microsoft Research Summit:

The Future of Privacy & Security
Kobbi Nissim
Georgetown University