Journal of Privacy and Confidentiality Publishes Papers Presented at NISS Workshop: Data Confidentiality - the Next Five Years

The electronic Journal of Privacy and Confidentiality (JPC) has just released its second issue. This issue was assembled by three guest editors:  Satkartar K. Kinney, Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Institute of Statistical Sciences (NISS), Joe Fred Gonzalez, Jr., mathematical statistician at the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)/Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Alan F. Karr, Director of NISS.

The issue contains papers derived from presentations at a workshop on Data Confidentiality: The Next Five Years, which was held May 1-2, 2008 at NCHS headquarters in Hyattsville, Maryland. The workshop was co-sponsored and co-organized by NISS and NCHS, which is one of several federal statistical agencies that are members of the NISS Affiliates Program.

The workshop brought together the academic and federal data confidentiality research communities, including over 40 statisticians, computer scientists, cryptographers, and federal agency “owners” of data confidentiality problems, with the goal of identifying important unresolved issues associated with data confidentiality. The participants articulated a research agenda that addresses those problems in a way that responds to current and emerging needs among federal statistical agencies.  They also discussed the kinds of collaborations among statisticians, computer scientists, domain scientists and data-owning agencies that are needed to pursue the research agenda.

This special issue of JPC includes eight papers based on nine presentations from the workshop. These papers reflect the six thematic sessions that were held at the workshop, which included: Query Systems, Weighted Data, Distributed Data, Synthetic Data, Tabular Data and Federal Agency Needs. The papers in JPC include works from Cynthia Dwork, Microsoft Research and Adam Smith, Pennsylvania State University;  Avinash Singh, National Opinion Research Center (NORC);  Stephen Fienberg, Carnegie Mellon University; Alan Karr, NISS; Xiaodong Lin, University of Cincinnati; Jerome Reiter, Duke University; Lawrence Cox, NCHS; and Aleksandra Slavkovic, Pennsylvania State University. In keeping with the theme of the next workshop, the papers focus on the current status of research and recommend new directions.

This issue of JPC can be read by going to: to download a copy.

JPC is an open-access, multi-disciplinary electronic journal whose purpose is to facilitate the coalescence of research methodologies and activities in the areas of privacy, confidentiality, and disclosure limitation. JPC seeks to publish a wide range of research and review papers, not only from academia, but also from government (especially, official statistics agencies) and industry, as well as serve as a forum for exchanges of views, discussion, and news. Disciplines represented include statistics, computer science, operations research, law and disciplinary sciences. The founders are Cynthia Dwork, Stephen Fienberg and Alan Karr. More information, including instructions for submission of manuscripts, is available at

About NISS
The National Institute of Statistical Sciences is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The Institute was established in 1990 by the national statistics societies and the Research Triangle universities and organizations, with the mission to identify, catalyze and foster high-impact, cross-disciplinary and cross-sector research involving the statistical sciences. NISS is dedicated to strengthening and serving the national statistics community, most notably by catalyzing community members’ participation in applied research driven by challenges facing government and industry. NISS also provides career development opportunities for statisticians and scientists, especially those in the formative stages of their careers. NISS is located in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

For more information about NISS, go to the website



Monday, March 1, 2010 by Jamie Nunnelly