Mar 18 2009 12:00pm to Mar 18 2009 12:00pm

The Probability of Privacy

Paul Ohm, Associate Professor of Law and Telecommunications, University of Colorado Law School

Two recent, newsworthy events have upended our understanding of the privacy-protecting power of anonymization. America Online and Netflix each released millions of anonymized records containing the secrets of hundreds of thousands of users. In both cases, to the surprise of all, researchers were able to “deanonymize” or “reidentify” some of the people in the data with ease. Paul Ohm proposes that the only way to anonymize a database perfectly is to strip all of the information from it, and any database which is useful is also imperfectly anonymous.



Join the fight against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software

The Berkman Center is pleased to announce the full launch of, an online community for people looking for help removing viruses, spyware, and other malicious software from their computers...