Posts tagged ‘meta’
After a long, exciting and exhausting interview season, I’m thrilled to be starting at Princeton this fall as a tenure-track faculty member! My appointment will be in computer science with a CITP (Center for Information Technology Policy) affiliation. This is a dream position for me in just about every way. I’m looking forward to joining Ed Felten and other amazing people at Princeton, and to the challenges of research and teaching.
I feel lucky and privileged to be writing this, and thankful for the advice and support of people close to me throughout the process. I’m particularly indebted to Vitaly, my advisor, for his regular doses of wisdom.
I will miss Stanford and sunny California. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed both the academic environment and the entrepreneurial culture of the Bay area, and Dan Boneh has been a great mentor. But I feel mentally ready to explore new directions, both career-wise and in life.
While some things have changed, others will remain the same, such as this blog. I expect to continue to cover the same mix of topics — information privacy, tech policy, and meta-issues of academia and research. And speaking of the blog, I have several pages of notes of my impressions of the interview process, which I’m planning to turn into a series of posts. Stay tuned.
From the About page:
This is a blog about my research on privacy and anonymity. The title refers to the fact that there are only 6.6 billion people in the world, so you only need 33 bits (more precisely, 32.6 bits) of information about a person to determine who they are.
This fact has two related consequences. First, a lot of traditional thinking about anonymous data relied on the fact that you can hide in a crowd that’s too big to search through. That notion completely breaks down given today’s computing power: as long as the bad guy has enough information about his target, he can simply examine every possible entry in the database and select the best match.
The second consequence is that 33 bits is not really a lot. If your hometown has 100,000 people, then knowing your hometown gives me 16 bits of entropy about you, and only 17 bits remain. But the real danger is that information about a person’s behavior, which was traditionally not considered personally identifying, can be used to cause serious privacy breaches in a variety of different contexts.
This blog will announce, explain and elaborate on my research as it relates to the above theme. I will also use it as an outlet for my opinions on the broader technical, policy, business and social issues related to my work.
Serious content coming soon. In the meanwhile, grab the RSS feed.