CSSI Research Seminar: Claire Bowen

LGRT 1681

*Joint with Mathematics & Statistics Department's Statistics and Data Science Seminar

Navigating Data Privacy in Public Policy to Responsibly Represent People in Data

At what point does the sacrifice to our personal information outweigh the public good?

If public policymakers had access to our personal and confidential data, they could make more evidence-based, data-informed decisions that could accelerate economic recovery and improve healthcare resources distributions. However, access to personal data comes at a steep privacy cost for contributors, especially underrepresented groups. Revealing too much location information places people at risk such as empowering stalkers to track people more easily, but too little personal, location information will severely hinder the effectiveness of contact tracing of a contagious disease.  

This talk will discuss the intricate data privacy challenges faced by the U.S. government and private sector in data collection and dissemination. It will also cover various collaborations between the Data Governance and Privacy Lab at the Urban Institute with government agencies and other organizations, such as generating synthetic health services data and integrating data equity in statistical data privacy. Our group strives to implement innovative statistical data privacy methods and uphold data governance principles, empowering researchers and policymakers to access and leverage data for the betterment of society while protecting individual privacy.

Claire Bowen
Speaker Institution
Urban Institute
Speaker Biography

Claire McKay Bowen is a senior fellow in the Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population and leads the Statistical Methods Group at the Urban Institute. Her research primarily focuses on developing technical and policy solutions to safely expand access to confidential data that advances evidence-based policymaking. She is also interested in improving science communication and integrating data equity into the data privacy process. In 2021, the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies identified her as an emerging leader in statistics for her technical contributions and leadership to statistics and the field of data privacy and confidentiality. Further, she is a member of the Census Scientific Advisory Committee and several other data governance and data privacy committees, and she is an adjunct professor at Stonehill College.

Bowen holds an honors BS in mathematics and physics from Idaho State University and an MS and PhD in statistics from the University of Notre Dame. After completing her PhD, she worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where she investigated cosmic ray effects on supercomputers.