Presentation on theme: "The Perception of Privacy Risk Gerald W. Gates Chief Privacy Officer U.S. Census Bureau."— Presentation transcript:
The Perception of Privacy Risk Gerald W. Gates Chief Privacy Officer U.S. Census Bureau
2 Purpose Describe what we know about public perceptions of privacy Discuss the role that technology and statistics play in influencing these perceptions, and Present five issue areas that require further study
3 Assumptions Privacy, confidentiality, or security measures may be perceived to be insufficient Statistical methodology and technology play important roles in the perception of privacy Perceptions can be influenced by trust relationships and openness Managing perception has not been a priority
5 Major U.S. Privacy Concerns ID theft Data mining Security breaches Wireless technologies
6 What Is Influencing Privacy Attitudes? Fear Mistrust Misunderstanding Loss of control
7 How Is It Manifested in Surveys? Too sensitive questions (dont believe data will be protected) None of your business (dont understand the purpose) Cant trust them (bad previous experience or bad information) No one looking out for me (only benefits the other guy)
8 Recent Privacy Perceptions Involving Statistics Canadian record linkage incident 2000 census long form response NASA research on airline passengers Arab American tabulations for U.S. Department of Homeland Security
9 What Are the Potential Consequences? Declining response rates Increased costs Deteriorating data quality Restrictions on access
10 TechnologyPart of The Perception Problem The Webloss of control/identity theft/data availability Data mining and record linkage government surveillance Surveillance toolsRFID, national ids, DNA scans
11 StatisticsPart of the Perception Problem Methodologies facilitate bad uses of the technology (e.g. mining of voting records) Group data can be misused Methodologies are hard for public to understand
12 TechnologyPart of the Solution Security (encryption, biometrics, firewalls) limits breaches Privacy (quality control can limit false positives in data mining) Confidentiality (disclosure limitation methodologies limit risk of disclosure)
13 StatisticsPart of the Solution Measuring and monitoring attitudes and behaviors Policies to address legal and ethical issues Reducing reporting burden on respondents Messages to appeal to privacy interests Preparing for privacy scenarios
14 Issues From March 2005 Workshop in Santa Cruz 1.Do statisticians have discretion on collecting/disseminating? 2.What role do statisticians have in preventing inferential harm? 3.What role do stakeholders play in affecting perceptions?
15 Issues from March 2005 Workshop in Santa Cruz 4.Can statisticians influence the use of technologydiscourage negative uses? 5.How can we prepare for privacy events and learn from them?
16 Conclusions Privacy perceptions have statistical offices on the defensive We need to study how privacy perceptions influence response and how messages delivered though various means impact these perceptions Openness and transparency are critical