Privacy and Trust

Research focuses on the interplay of a complex nexus of topics around privacy and confidentiality.

We are focused on investigating solutions that have the potential to build the trustworthiness of systems and organisations and developing new methods and approaches for ensuring confidentiality.

We are particularly interested in interdisciplinary socio-technical solutions that blend statistics and computer science with legal analysis and social science.

One central topic is that of anonymisation and the related topics of statistical disclosure control and data environment analysis but we cover the full range of disciplinary perspectives on these critical topics.

Research projects

Some of our research projects include:

  • Anonymisation and provenance - explores how to use the provenance of data to automatically choose the appropriate anonymisation technology needed to protect data across boundaries and uses. Anonymity is not solely a property of the data, but a function of the 'data environment' in which it is held. 'Provenance' is the record of creation and modification of data and processes. The goal is to use provenance information to identify and describe data environments so that the appropriate anonymization techniques can be applied.
  • UK Anonymisation Network (UKAN) - set up in 2012, UKAN offers best practice advice on anonymisation to anyone who handles personal data and needs to share it. The second edition of the Anonymisation Handbook is available to download.

Research interests

  • privacy;
  • confidentiality;
  • anonymisation;
  • statistical disclosure control;
  • data protection;
  • data synthesis;
  • data provenance;
  • data environmental analysis;
  • risk-utility trade-offs;
  • motivated intruder testing.


Cluster Lead: Prof Mark Elliot.

Members: Dr Claire Little, Dr Elaine Mackey, Prof Goran Nenadic, Prof John Keane, Prof Natalie Shlomo, Nastazja Laskowski, Dr Muhammad Aslam Jarwar, Dr Richard Allmendinger, Dr Sahel Samani, Dr Duncan Smith.