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Seminar: Health Information Sharing and Privacy

Seminar Presentation

Staal Vinterbo

Staal Vinterbo, PhD
Associate Professor
University of California San Diego

Location: HSEB Room 4100B
Date: Nov. 3, 2011
Time: 4:15 pm


This last decade has seen research into privacy that suggests that de-identification, which is the foundation of the current privacy regulations, is insufficient for believable privacy. Such insufficiency creates a gap between the intent of privacy regulations and the capabilities of their technological implementations that is problematic. On one hand it creates insecurities in the research community as to whether sharing de-identified data is really protecting patients, which in turn can lead to under- utilization of available data. On the other hand, it opens the door for disclosures of private information that can have consequences for the individual subjects involved, the persons and institutions responsible for the disclosure, as well as the biomedical research community at large through reactive legislation and loss of public trust. In this talk I will explore different problems with the current privacy standard, discuss whether the concept of de-identification is sufficient for providing believable privacy, and what an alternative could look like.