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[liberationtech] High Stakes: Designing a Privacy Preserving Registry

Jacob Appelbaum jacob at
Fri Mar 2 06:06:55 PST 2012


I'm writing to you from the extremely wonderful island of Bonaire during
Financial Cryptography 2012. My co-author and I just presented our paper
in the Proceedings of the Workshop on Usable Security. I thought that
quite a few people on this list might enjoy reading our paper.

Here's the abstract:

"This paper details our experience designing a privacy preserving
medical marijuana registry. In this  paper, we make four key
contributions. First, through direct and indirect interaction with
multiple stakeholders  like the ACLU of Washington, law enforcement, the
Cannabis Defense Coalition, state legislators, lawyers, and  many
others, we describe a number of intersting technical and
socially-imposed challenges for building medical  registries. Second, we
identify a new class of registries called unidirectional,
non-identifying (UDNI) registries.  Third, we use the UDNI concept to
propose holistic design for a medical marijuana registry that leverages
elements  of a central database, but physically distributes
proof-of-enrollment capability to persons enrolled in the registry.
This design meets all of our goals and stands up in the face of a tough
threat model. Finally, we detail our experience  in transforming a
technical design into an actual legislative bill.

High Stakes: Designing a Privacy Preserving Registry:

All the best,

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