Promising Privacy Tech

We’re generating a ridiculous amount of data every day. Much of it is highly personal and that’s dangerous. But there are actually several Privacy Enhancing Technologies that may allow us to use this personal data to improve our collective quality of life without ruining the privacy of the data subjects. I’ll be discussing these PETs with Irene Knapp who spent five years working in the privacy department at Google. I will also spend a good bit of time asking them about what it’s like working at Google and get some insights about the company’s approach to privacy from the inside. (Spoiler: it’s not good.)

Interview Notes

Further Info

Table of Contents

Use these timestamps to jump to a particular section of the show.

  • 0:01:40: Interview setup
  • 0:03:56: What is Internet Safety Labs and what do you do there?
  • 0:05:45: Why do we not have liability in the software industry?
  • 0:07:02: How did you come to work for Google and what was your experience like there?
  • 0:07:58: What caused you to eventually leave?
  • 0:10:26: How did private policy evolve while you were at Google?
  • 0:12:36: What was happening in Google that impeded your efforts?
  • 0:19:19: How does Google compare to other companies like Facebook?
  • 0:20:56: What’s your take on Google’s new Privacy Sandbox technology?
  • 0:27:24: Can we do some good with all the data we’re collecting?
  • 0:33:51: From where do we derive a legal right to privacy?
  • 0:35:10: How does differential privacy work?
  • 0:38:49: Where might we use differential privacy?
  • 0:41:59: What is homomorphic encryption and how does it work?
  • 0:44:47: Are there any other promising PETs?
  • 0:46:49: How do zero knowledge proofs work?
  • 0:49:20: Which of the PETs seem most promising right now?
  • 0:51:20: Do we need privacy regulations to save us here?
  • 0:56:19: What’s next for you?
  • 0:58:31: Interview wrap-up
  • 1:00:52: BOOK SURGE!!