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Welcome to Simson Garfinkel's personal web site.

Simson L. Garfinkel serves on the Association for Computing Machinery's U.S. Technology and Policy Committee, and on its Ethics and Plagiarism Committee. He is also a science journalist who has published hundreds of articles in newspapers and magazines, and 17 books. His research interests broadly include data science ethics, digital forensics, personal information management, counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism. (Read full bio.)

Recent Publications


Recent tutorials and presentations

Note: talks with the same name may (and frequently do) have different slides

See also my Presentations Archive.

Recent publications

  1. Garfinkel, Simson. Differential Privacy and the 2020 Census, MIT Schwarzman College of Computing Case Studies in Social and Ethical Responsibilities of Computing, Winter 2022.
  2. Bowen, Claire McKay and Simson Garfinkel, The Philosophy of Differential Privacy, AMS Notices, November 2021.
  3. Abowd, J. M., Ashmead, R., Cumings-Menon, R., Garfinkel, S., Kifer, D., Leclerc, P., Sexton, W., Simpson, A., Task, C., & Zhuravlev, P. (2021). An uncertainty principle is a price of privacy-preserving microdata. In M. Ranzato, A. Beygelzimer, Y. Dauphin, P. Liang, & J. W. Vaughan (Eds.), Advances in neural information processing systems (pp. 11883– 11895). Curran Associates, Inc.
  4. Simson L. Garfinkel and Philip Leclerc. 2020. Randomness Concerns when Deploying Differential Privacy. In Proceedings of the 19th Workshop on Privacy in the Electronic Society (WPES'20). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 73–86. DOI: (Acceptance rate 44%)

Current projects

Software and systems
  • bulk_extractor 2.0
  • tcpflow 2.0
Academic Research
  • Article about security research and AI
  • New approach to provenance: the Data Vintaging System (new wine in old bottles?)
  • New Data Science Ethics assignment
  • Article on for a forensics journal.
  • Article about the new bulk_extractor and why it's so much better.

You may also be interested in my Future Projects

Completed projects

Resources For Students

Where to find Simson Garfinkel online