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hashmatter/p3lib: privacy preserving primitives and protocols (p3) for routing and messaging in P2P networks
privacy preserving primitives and protocols (p3) for routing and messaging in P2P networks - hashmatter/p3lib
p2p  dht  privacy  anonymity  network  security  library 
3 days ago by orlin
The promise of synthetic data
February 4, 2020 | Financial Times | by Anjana Ahuja.

* Race after Technology by Ruha Benjamin.
Where anonymization fails, synthetic data might yet succeed. Synthetic data is artificially generated. It is most often created by funnelling real-world data through a noise-adding algorithm to construct a new data set. The resulting data set captures the statistical features of the original information without being a giveaway replica. Its usefulness hinges on a principle known as differential privacy: that anybody mining synthetic data could make the same statistical inferences as they would from the true data — without being able to identify individual contributions........Synthetic data has the potential to squeeze useful information from tightly-controlled databases. Uncovering fraud, for example, can be challenging because regulations restrict how information can be shared, even within banks. Synthetic data can help to unveil useful patterns, while masking individual incidents.......“If you’re trying to train an algorithm to detect fraud, you don’t care about specific transactions and who made them,” he says. “You care about the statistics, like whether the amounts are just below the limit needed to trigger an audit, or if they tend to occur close to the end of the quarter.” Those kinds of numbers can be shaken out of synthetic data as well as from the original........the UK’s Office for National Statistics says synthetic data offers a “safer, easier and faster way to share data between government, academia and the private sector”........ The data does not have to be rooted in the real world to have value: it can be fabricated and slotted in where some is missing or hard to get hold of........Synthetic data could, of course, be framed as fake data — but in some circumstances that is a bonus. Artificial intelligence that is trained on real-life information flaunts a baked-in bias: algorithmic decision-making in fields such as criminal justice and credit scoring shows evidence of racial discrimination........discrimination is not something that AI should perpetuate ..... synthetic data could help tackle complex social issues such as poverty: “We could modify that bias. People could release synthetic data that reflects the world we would like to have. Why not use those as training sets for AI?"
algorithms  anonymity  anonymized  biases  books  dark_side  data  data_wrangling  differential_privacy  fairness   inequality  noise  privacy  racial_discrimination  synthetic_data 
12 days ago by jerryking
Reconsidering Anonymization-Related Concepts and the Term “Identification” Against the Backdrop of the European Legal Framework
Sharing data in biomedical contexts has become increasingly relevant, but privacy concerns set constraints for free sharing of individual-level data. Data protection law protects only data relating to an identifiable individual, whereas “anonymous” data are free to be used by everybody. via Pocket
IFTTT  Pocket  anonymisation  anonymity  anonymous  identification  identity 
16 days ago by ChristopherA
The Anonymous Companies That Buy Up Homes | KQED News
“Even if you can afford to buy a home in the Bay Area, you might get outbid by an anonymous shell company paying cash. Over the years, more American homes have been bought up by these companies, with fewer and fewer homes being owned by individuals and families.

And on top of that, we don’t even know who owns all of these properties. But the U.S. Treasury Department does - and the folks at Reveal are suing for that information.

Guest: Aaron Glantz, senior reporter at Reveal and author of the book “Homewreckers.” Check out more on Reveal’s ongoing lawsuit here.

We’re doing meetups in all nine Bay Area counties this year! Our first one is in Vallejo. Come hang out with us at Mare Island Brewing tap room near the ferry building on Friday, Feb. 7 between 5-7 p.m.

Interview Highlights

KQED’s Devin Katayama: First off, tell me why we’re standing in front of this house on Delano Avenue [in San Francisco's Balboa Park neighborhood].

Aaron Glantz: We’re standing in front of this house at 66 Delano Avenue because it’s one of many, many homes all across the country that have been bought up by shell companies where we don’t really know who the owner is.

If you look around and you wonder, why can’t I buy this house? Why can’t I buy any house? A lot of the time it’s because it’s been bought by a shell company.

A distant landlord owning a building like this instead of somebody who lives in it means that the building can sit empty, boarded up with a fence around it and get no attention for a long time, because Mr. LLC doesn’t walk up and down this block and see this burnt out building every day.

Is this pretty common? For houses owned by shell companies to just be sitting empty?

Well, I mean, this is one of the things that we don’t have a good understanding of. There are a lot of theories about who is buying up our real estate. Are we talking about Silicon Valley techies? Are we talking about international money from China and Russia? You know, are we talking about Airbnb? Are we talking about people just parking their money? We don’t really know. There’s a lot of unanswered questions. And that’s why Reveal has gone to court, suing the Treasury Department to get answers to some of those questions.

What’s the benefit of creating a shell company to own all these homes?

Well, the statute creating shell companies was created many years ago, and was actually created to help an oil company in the Rockies that had oil rigs in Central America. And it wanted to limit its liability in the case that something happened on those oil facilities in Panama.

So, LLC stands for limited liability company. They wanted to distance their liability for whatever happened in Panama to the company back in the Rockies. Over the years, however, this has been used by real estate moguls to amass property and hide the true source of their money from the public.

You have speculators like Wedgewood, right? You have bigger real estate investment trusts like the ones I spotlight in “Homewreckers,” run by Tom Barrack and Steve Schwarzman and these big private equity funds. You have international investors parking their money. You have mom and pop landlords that would just prefer to operate behind a limited liability corporation.

What we don’t know is the proportion of all of these against each other, and who the most significant actors are. This basic transparency exists in countries all over the world. In Russia, in Ukraine, in Argentina, in Israel, you can go online and see who the money is behind anything, any beneficial owner of real estate. In America, we can’t.

How can we make smart policy about issues of homeownership and wealth in America, about housing and homelessness in America, if we don’t even know who’s buying up the buildings?

The Treasury Department has been asking for information about these beneficial owners. Then, when we - Reveal - asked for that same information from the Treasury Department using the Freedom of Information Act, they said no, they won’t give it to us. So that’s why we sued them.

And what we’re saying to the Treasury Department is look, if you want to redact individuals, Social Security Numbers or other legitimately private information - absolutely. But you cannot hide everything from the public.

You have to share the answer to this very basic question: Who’s the money behind this house that we’re standing in front of? And all of the other homes, millions of them around the country that are being bought up by shell companies?”
housing  2020  finance  homes  economics  anonymity  moms4housing  commoditization  aaronglantz  vallejo  sanfrancisco  legal  law  airbnb  wedgewood  tombarrack  steveschwarzman  russia  ukraine  argentina  israel  us  fincen 
4 weeks ago by robertogreco
Unmasking the secret landlords buying up America | Reveal
“America’s cities are being bought up, bit by bit, by anonymous shell companies using piles of cash. Modest single-family homes, owned for generations by families, now are held by corporate vehicles with names that appear to be little more than jumbles of letters and punctuation”

“All-cash transactions have come to account for a quarter of all residential real estate purchases, “totaling hundreds of billions of dollars nationwide,” the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network–the financial crimes unit of the federal Treasury Department, also known as FinCEN”

“The Census Bureau reports that nearly 3 million U.S. homes and 13 million apartment units are owned by LLC, LLP, LP or shell companies – levels of anonymous ownership not seen in American history.”

“The proportion of residential rental properties owned by individuals and families has fallen from 92% in 1991 to 74% in 2015.

The lack of transparency not only represents an opportunity for money laundering, but it also has more prosaic implications.”

“With anonymity comes impunity, and, for vulnerable tenants, skyrocketing numbers of evictions. It wasn’t until reporters… began to investigate… that residents living in hundreds of properties across the South learned that they shared a secret landlord… Sean Hannity.”

“Historically, in the US, the true owners of residential real estate properties have been publicly available through county recorders offices. However, for more than a decade, the proliferation of all-cash buys by shell companies has begun to obliterate that transparency.”

“Countries around the world have addressed this problem head on. … In the US, we’re on no such path to disclosure. A bipartisan anti-money-laundering bill, which passed the House in October, would require banks to systematically disclose the true owners of shell companies to FinCEN but would keep the public in the dark, stripping out all “personally identifiable information,” including anything “that would allow for the identification of a particular corporation or limited liability company.””
economics  finance  housing  2019  anonymity  ownership  homeownership  homes  impunity  legal  law  seanhannity  fincen  evictions  moneylaundering  property  argentina  australia  israel  jamaica  netherlands  russia  ukraine  aaronglantz 
4 weeks ago by robertogreco

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