November 8, 2012
Anna Lysyanskaya, a pioneer in online authentication that safeguards privacy, is our speaker for the November 8 Academy in Context dinner-seminar, which is called: “They Don't Need to Know Your Date of Birth – or – Taking Charge of Your Personal Data.”
Drawing from her research and experience in the technology industry, she looks at how you can prove you are authorized to do what you need to do. How can a movie site know that you are, say, over 18? How can a newspaper verify that you are a paid subscriber? In this talk, she will discuss these issues and, more interestingly, show that a user can prove that she is authorized without revealing who she is or anything else about herself. She will also discuss, more broadly, methods for ensuring that personal data stays private.
This talk will be accessible to a general audience, and no prior knowledge of computer science will be assumed. After her talk, she will lead discussion about the intellectual and privacy issues entailed in this area of research.
Lysyanskaya, an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Brown, received the Ph.D. in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from MIT in 2002. She came to Brown in 2002 and has since received an NSF CAREER award, numerous other NSF grants, and a Sloan Research Fellowship. MIT Technology Review Magazine named her to its 2007 list of "35 Innovators under 35." Her work on authorization was incorporated into the Trusted Computing Group's industrial standard and served as the theoretical foundation for IBM Zurich's Idemix project.
This Academy in Context dinner-seminar is part of a series intended to foster discussion of ethical issues among graduate students across the disciplines. The purpose of the program is not to draw definitive conclusions or identify "right" answers, but rather to explore the ethical challenges that are raised from a variety of perspectives. It is open to graduate students and postdoctoral appointees, and is hosted by the Dean of the Graduate School.