columbia privacy lab (cpl)

The Columbia Privacy Lab (cpl) is a two-year (2021 – 2023) pilot project funded by the Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics (INCITE).

Two research projects cpl funded include:

CPL research fellow Nkima Stephenson researched and developed action items related to a project examining the kinds of data New York City requires to apply for housing and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Research questions included:

  1. What questions are asked when one applies for sustenance benefits in NYC?
  2. Why are these particular questions asked?
  3. Who determines the necessity of the questions? Which questions are necessary for providing food stamps?
  4. How is this information used?
  5. What value does this information have to the State?

Action items Stephenson created included an annotated bibliography keyed to the research questions (link forthcoming), data privacy recommendations for people seeking benefits, and offering public comment on the National Telecommunications and Administration’s invitation to public comments on “Privacy, Equity, and Civil Rights Request for Comment.”

A second research project completed by Elizabeth Li examines data leakage via dating app users in the name of safety and security. A summary of her findings will be presented on Tuesday, March 21st at noon online via Zoom [register].