Computational Privacy Lab

computational privacyThe computational privacy lab, under Dr. de Montjoye  from the Department of Computing, will 
promote and lead scientific advances and research in data privacy and information security. Our vision is to provide leadership, in the UK and beyond, in safe, anonymous, and ethical use of large-scale behavioral datasets coming from IoT devices, mobile phones, credit cards, browsers and searches for research, business and governments.  Big data dramatically increase our capacity to understand and affect the behavior of individuals and collectives but also raise fundamentally new privacy and fairness questions. Research and results from the computational privacy lab have had significant public policy implication, e.g. in reports of the United Nations, FTC, and the European Commission as well as in briefs to the US Supreme Court


1. the design of re-identification and profiling algorithms and analysis (“red team”) to show the limits of traditional data anonymization or de-identification techniques
2. the development of safe, often interactive, mechanisms for the privacy-conscientious use of large-scale behavioral datasets e.g. the OPAL project (“blue team”)
3. the definition of formal properties and metrics of fairness in algorithmic-decision making and modern machine learning



yvesHead, Professor Yves-Alexandre de Montjoye  (Assistant Lecturer at the DSI)

Yves-Alexandre de Montjoye is a lecturer (eq. Assistant Professor) at Imperial College London, where he heads the Computational Privacy Group. His research aims at understanding how the unicity of human behavior impacts the privacy of individuals--through re-identification or inference--in rich high-dimensional datasets such as mobile phone, credit cards, or browsing data. Yves-Alexandre was recently named an Innovator under 35 for Belgium (TR35). His research has been published in Science and Nature SRep. and covered by the BBC, CNN, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Le Monde, Die Spiegel, Die Zeit, El Pais as well as in his TEDx talks. His work on the shortcomings of anonymization has appeared in reports of the World Economic Forum, United Nations, OECD, FTC, and the European Commission. Before coming to MIT, he was a researcher at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico. Yves-Alexandre worked for the Boston Consulting Group and acted as an expert for both the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Nations. He is a member of the OECD Advisory Group on Health Data Governance. He received in PhD from MIT in 2016 and obtained, over a period of 6 years, an M.Sc. from Louvain in Applied Mathematics, a M.Sc. (Centralien) from Ecole Centrale Paris, a M.Sc. from KULeuven in Mathematical Engineering as well as his B.Sc. in engineering at Louvain.


Ongoing Projects