Privacy Ref Blog

Leave a hair, lose some privacy

We all have seen those police dramas where a forensics specialist finds a hair at a crime scene, the DNA is extracted, and a suspect confirmed. Heather Dewey-Hagborg has taken this a bit further with her project Stranger Visions providing an insight into how that simple hair may compromise privacy.

Stranger Visions

Heather Dewey-Hagborg is a self described “information artist who is interested in exploring art as research and public inquiry”. At the recent Navigate conference sponsored by the IAPP, Heather presented her project showing how by extracting the DNA from a hair she could render a sculpture of the owners face.

This video provides a description of the Stranger Visions project.

 Potential privacy implications

The project provides a fascinating look into how technology is progressing to ease access to  DNA analysis. As technology advances and this project continues to evolve it will be possible that the sculptures created will become increasingly accurate. Applying facial recognition technology to the sculpture may then provide access to a wealth of information about the hair’s owner.

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    By: Bob Siegel

    Bob Siegel, the founder and President of Privacy Ref, Inc., has extensive professional experience in the development and improvement of privacy policies and procedures, the definition of performance metrics to evaluate privacy maturity, and the evaluation of compliance. He utilizes a combination of alignment, adaptability, and accountability strategies to guide organizations in achieving their privacy goals.

    He is a Fellow of Information Privacy (FIP) and a Certified Information Privacy Professional, awarded from the International Association of Privacy Professionals, with concentrations in U.S. private-sector law (CIPP/US), US public sector law (CIPP/G), European law (CIPP/E), and Canadian law (CIPP/C). He is also a Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM) and Privacy Technologist (CIPT).

    Siegel is a member of the IAPP faculty, has served on the Certification Advisory Board for the CIPM program the Publications Advisory Board.

    Siegel also writes the blog “Operational Privacy” on CSOonline.com

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  • author's avatar

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Privacy Ref provides consulting and assessment services to build and improve organizational privacy programs. For more information call Privacy Ref at (888) 470-1528 or email us at info@privacyref.com

Posted on July 2, 2013 by Bob Siegel
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