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Understanding secure data analysis

6 December 2019

A workshop exploring privacy and how we use data is taking place at Cardiff University this December.

The event will take place on Wednesday 11 December and is co-organised by Cardiff University lecturers Dr Christian Arnold and Dr George Theodorakopoulos and the Office for National Statistics.

Data on individuals are being collected at an unprecedented rate and very often that data is sensitive. Companies such as Facebook, Google and Twitter, but also governmental agencies like the NHS are amassing data about us all, which means that data protection is a concern for everyone.

This workshop will focus on private synthetic data. Private synthetic data are a copy of original data (aka spreadsheets) that contains artificial individuals but retains the complete statistical information. This means that synthetic data can remain anonymous; a trait that is incredibly useful in scientific and medical fields.

This is the first time that all relevant stakeholders from data industry, government and academia in the UK are coming together to share their experiences and insights. This workshop intends to bring together leading researchers on privacy preserving synthetic data from computer sciences, statistics and applied backgrounds such as social sciences and seeks to highlight recent advances in the respective disciplines and encourage interdisciplinary debate.

The workshop has attracted speakers from a range of organisations that have data at their core. They include Fionntán O'Donnell of the Open Data Institute, Pierre-Andre Maugis of Privitar and Ioannis Kaloskampis of the Office for National Statistics who will all present at the event.

Speaking of his event, Dr Arnold said, “Sharing information data while at the same time protecting the privacy of individuals is one of the key challenges of digitalisation.”

“This event will be crucial in facilitating networking. It promises to kickstart world-leading research at the intersection between statistics, computer sciences and applied disciplines like social or medical sciences. The involvement of key practitioners allows us to translate research into practice and promises to deeply impact the way in which data can be shared in the UK.”

Dr Christian Arnold Senior Lecturer in Politics

More information can be found at the dedicated workshop homepage. Please contact Dr Christian Arnold if you would like to attend the event.

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