Personal Information: The benefits and risks of de-identification

Date: January 12th 2012 from 12pm to 1pm EST

Over the last two years multiple experts have expressed different opinions about the effectiveness of de-identification methods in use today, and how privacy legislation should incorporate de-identification. On the other hand, there have been strong voices explaining the benefits of de-identification methods and their importance for promoting the secondary use of information. On December 5th 2011 we organized a one day conference to examine all of these aspects by bringing together leading academics, advocates, Chief Privacy Officers, legal experts and policymakers to discuss and debate the benefits and risks of de-identification and the definition of personal information. The discussions covered one of the most central issues for the future of privacy, data use and innovation, and addressed the following questions:
 When is information personal?
• Does anonymization still matter?
• How is de-identified data being used and what are the benefits and risks?
This webinar will provide a summary of the one day conference, the key points that were learned at the end of the day, and the way forward for addressing this issue.

Speaker: Jules Polonetsky, Co-chair and Director of the Future of Privacy Forum

Biography: Jules Polonetsky has served since November 2008 as Co-chair and Director of the Future of Privacy Forum, a think tank seeking to improve the state of online privacy by advancing responsible data practices. His previous roles have included serving as Chief Privacy Officer at AOL and before that at DoubleClick, as Consumer Affairs Commissioner for New York City, as an elected New York State Legislator and as a congressional staffer, and as an attorney. In 2011, Jules was appointed to the Department of Homeland Security Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee. He has served on the boards of groups such as TRUSTe, the IAPP, the Network Advertising Initiative, the Privacy Projects, and the Better Business Bureau (NY Region). His writing and research can be found at and


Download the slides here.

View the accompanying workshop videos here.