The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has launched a new program for research and development work on online privacy tools as technology advancements also present new dangers to sensitive data.
“Democracy and innovation depend on creativity and the open exchange of diverse ideas, but fear of a loss of privacy can stifle those processes,” John Launchbury, DARPA program manager, said Wednesday.
“We aim to develop methods that can help protect private information without having to impose cumbersome protective mechanisms that ultimately deplete the larger value of the information at hand.”
DARPA said the new program is named after Louis Brandeis, a privacy advocate and former justice on the U.S. Supreme Court between 1916 and 1939.
According to the agency, these efforts come as current methods of protecting information, such as data filtering at the source and trusting that aggregators will be able to protect data, are becoming insufficient due to available technologies for retrieving and stealing those data.
Launchbury added that Brandeis aims to deliver technology that allows “safe and predictable sharing of data” while maintaining privacy and the data’s value.
DARPA anticipates that the program, which will have three 18-month phases, will have potential impact on data applications across several industries, including healthcare and energy.