Invited Speakers - Panel on Genome Privacy

Ross Anderson University of Cambridge
Carl Gunter University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)
Vitaly Shmatikov University of Texas at Austin
Aleksandra Slavkovic The Pennsylvania State University

Genomics is becoming the next significant challenge for privacy. The price of a complete genome profile has plummeted below $200 for genome-wide genotyping (i.e., the characterization of about one million common genetic variants), which is offered by a number of companies (located mostly in the US). Whole genome sequencing is also offered through the same direct-to-consumer model (but at a higher price). This low cost of DNA sequencing will break the physician/patient connection, because private citizens (from anywhere in the world) can have their genome sequenced without involving their family doctor. This can open the door to all kinds of abuse, not yet fully understood.

As a result of the rapid evolution in genomic research, substantial progress is expected in terms of improved diagnosis and better preventive medicine. However, the impact on privacy is unprecedented, because (i) genetic diseases can be unveiled, (ii) the propensity to develop specific diseases (such as Alzheimer's) can be revealed, (iii) a volunteer accepting de facto to have his genomic code made public (as it already happened) can leak substantial information about his ethnic heritage and genomic data of his relatives (possibly against their will), and (iv) complex privacy issues can arise if DNA analysis is used for criminal investigations and insurance purposes. Such issues could lead to genetic discrimination (e.g., ancestry discrimination or discrimination due to geographic mapping of people). Even though the Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act (GINA), which prohibits the use of genomic information in health insurance and employment, attempted to solve some of these problems in the US, these types of laws are very difficult to enforce.

The panel will address these issues and is meant to increase the awareness of the WEIS community about this crucial subject.

More information about this topic can be found here:

Invited Speakers - Panel on Cognitive Security

David Reitter The Pennsylvania State University
Cleotilde Gonzalez Carnegie Mellon University
Christian Lebiere Carnegie Mellon University
Joachim Meyer Tel Aviv University

Understanding human cognition is a key to addressing the security challenges posed in cyber-crime, cyber-warfare, intelligence and decision-making in scenarios spanning industry to government. Cognitive science can evaluate decision-making in controlled experiments and on large datasets, model the underlying cognitive processes, and predict future outcomes.

This panel introduces "Cognitive Security" as a nascent, multi-disciplinary effort to empirically establish cognitive vulnerabilities to misinformation and lack of information. We will plot the path to new methods of (a) training decision-makers, (b) providing new decision-support systems, and (c) models that emulate social-cognitive (collective) systems and detect real-life vulnerabilities.

Invited Speaker - Ensuring Payment Security in the United States

Richard Sullivan Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
Introduction by
John Bagby The Pennsylvania State University

Summary: The talk explores ideas to improve payments security in the United States. It discusses key Fed learnings on the payments security landscape and potential options and priorities for enhancing payments security. Upcoming collaborative sessions with security and payment professionals will be critical to informing the payments improvement white paper the Fed plans to release this fall.

Speaker Bio: Richard J. Sullivan is a Senior Economist in the Payments System Research department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Since joining the Federal Reserve in 1994, Mr. Sullivan has completed a number of studies on the retail payments industry and on the banking industry. Topics of recent publications include the effect of computer chip payment cards on payment fraud and how regulation of interchange fees on debit cards affects the fee structure of checking accounts. His research has appeared in Federal Reserve publications and in academic journals such as the Journal of Financial Intermediation, Journal of Banking and Finance, Economica, and the Journal of Economic History. He is on the editorial board of the Workshop on the Economics of Information Security. Prior to joining the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Mr. Sullivan taught at Holy Cross College and the University of Colorado. He received a B.S. in business management from Northern Illinois University and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign.