On the importance of building privacy into apps and Reddit AMAs

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Given the increasing need to keep private data private in a world of habitual over-sharing on social media and the burgeoning internet of things, the work Jean Yang is doing at MIT is important.

Yang and her team are working on Jeeves, a framework meant to help programmers build privacy and potentially other policies right into their code. If it works as foreseen — and there is still a lot to do around performance — a developer could write policies — who can see what and when — right into the application. Those policies would then follow the data associated with that application around.

So, for example, an application might share your GPS data only for a limited amount of time — while you’re in the zip code — then revoke that information.

Speakers: Jean Yang - Ph.D. Candidate, MIT CSAIL

Speakers:
Jean Yang – Ph.D. Candidate, MIT CSAIL

On this week’s Structure Show, Yang talks more about that work and also about the Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) she and too other female MIT Ph.D. candidates hosted last month.  The usual trolls showed up to ask the women for dates etc. but Yang was not discouraged. There were a lot of thoughtful questions — about the value of a Ph.D., how to keep young girls interested in math and science etc.  She and co-hosts lElena Glassman and Neha Narula later wrote about the experience for Wired. A video of Yang’s talk at Structure 2013 is linked below.

Also on the show, Derrick and talk about how the venerable database category remains hot, as evidenced by new funding rounds for [company]MongoDB[/company] ($80 million) and [company]Basho[/company] ($25 million) are any indication. In the first half of the show Derrick and I talk about that and about the end of the road for [company]Microsoft[/company]’s infamous anti-Google [company]Scroogled campaign[/company].

 

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Hosts: Barb Darrow and Derrick Harris.

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