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Researchers Aim to Make Privacy Second Nature For Software Developers

By New York ­niversity

October 23, 2015

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A New York University researcher and colleagues are working to make user privacy an integral part of the software development process. Professor Sameer Patil is developing "privacy ideation cards" as a way to educate software developers on user privacy regulatory requirements.

Patil says the idea is to make U.S. data-protection laws and regulations understandable to software developers and students so they can take them into account at every step of the development process.

Privacy matters are often treated as an afterthought, according to Patil, who has been awarded a $175,000 Early-concept Grant for Exploratory Research by the U.S. National Science Foundation.

Patil suggests the language the government uses to regulate privacy in technology is not accessible to most software professionals. Moreover, he says developers often lack formal training in the sociotechnical aspects of privacy.

Patil's team also plans to promote the "Privacy by Design" approach, which holds that privacy must be the default mode of operation for organizations. The privacy ideation cards, which Patil thinks should be made freely available online, will enable the design, development, and deployment of systems that take into account relevant privacy laws and regulations at every stage of the system-building process.

From New York University
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