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New Programming Language Removes Human Error from Privacy Equation

Making it easier for programmers to enforce user privacy policies.
February 10, 2014

Anytime you hear about Facebook inadvertently making your location public, or revealing who is stalking your profile, it’s likely because a programmer added code that inadvertently led to a bug.

Photo courtesy CSAIL

But what if there was a system in place that could substantially reduce such privacy breaches and effectively remove human error from the equation?

One MIT PhD thinks she has the answer, and its name is Jeeves.

This past month, Jean Yang released an open-source Python version of “Jeeves,” a programming language with built-in privacy features that free programmers from having to provide on-the-go ad-hoc maintenance of privacy settings.

Given that somewhere between 10 and 20 percent of all code is related to privacy policy, Yang thinks that Jeeves will be an attractive option for social app developers who are looking to be more efficient in their use of programmer resources - as well as those who are hoping to assuage users’ privacy concerns about if and how they use your data.

For more information about Jeeves visit the project site.

For more information on Yang visit her CSAIL page.

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