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Alexandra Wood is a Berkman Center fellow contributing to the Privacy Tools for Sharing Research Data project. Her research involves exploring new and existing legal and regulatory frameworks for data privacy and developing legal instruments to facilitate the sharing and use of research data while preserving privacy, transparency, and accountability.

Previously, Alexandra served as a legal fellow assisting with the technology, telecommunications, and intellectual property portfolio of U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer. As a law student, she worked with the Center for Democracy & Technology and the Electronic Privacy Information Center on privacy projects addressing emerging electronic surveillance, facial recognition, and mobile payments technologies. She was also a 2010 Google Policy Fellow with the Future of Music Coalition.

Alexandra holds a law degree from George Washington University Law School, a master's degree in public policy from the University of Southern California, and a bachelor's degree in economics from Reed College. When not in Cambridge, she plays drums for a retro soul and rock 'n roll band in Washington, DC.

Projects & Tools

Privacy Tools

The Privacy Tools Project is a broad effort to advance a multidisciplinary understanding of data privacy issues and build computational, statistical, legal, and policy tools to…

Privacy Initiatives

The Berkman Klein Center has long been home to a number of cross-disciplinary initiatives that investigate privacy and privacy-relevant questions in the digitally networked…


Nov 1, 2018

Differential Privacy

A Primer for a Non-Technical Audience

This primer aims to provide a foundation that can guide future decisions when analyzing and sharing statistical data about individuals, informing individuals about the privacy…

Oct 18, 2018

Is Privacy Privacy?

How have different technical and normative conceptions of privacy evolved? What are the practical challenges that these divergent approaches pose?

Aug 21, 2018

Bridging the Gap between Computer Science and Legal Approaches to Privacy

A look at the gaps that exist between how privacy risks are conceptualized between the fields of law and computer science

Aug 3, 2018

A Harm-Reduction Framework for Algorithmic Fairness

Any evaluation of algorithmic fairness must consider a counterfactual analysis of the effects that algorithmic design, implementation, and use have on the well-being of…

Mar 12, 2018

Practical Approaches to Big Data Privacy Over Time

This article analyzes how privacy risks multiply as large quantities of personal data are collected over longer periods of time.

Sep 26, 2016

Privacy and Open Data Research Briefing

This research briefing offers a snapshot of recent developments in the open data and privacy landscape, outlines an action map of various governance approaches to protecting…

May 31, 2016

Towards a Modern Approach to Privacy-Aware Government Data Releases

Governments are under increasing pressure to promote transparency, accountability, and innovation by making the data they hold available to the public. Because the data often…

Mar 31, 2016

Elements of a New Ethical Framework for Big Data Research

The Berkman Center is pleased to announce the publication of a new paper from the Privacy Tools for Sharing Research Data project team. In this paper, Effy Vayena, Urs Gasser,…

Mar 27, 2015

Integrating Approaches to Privacy Across the Research Lifecycle: When Is Information Purely Public?

This workshop report, the second in a series, identifies selected questions and explores issues around the meaning of “public” in the context of using data about individuals for…

Aug 3, 2014

Integrating Approaches to Privacy across the Research Lifecycle: Long-term Longitudinal Studies

This paper explores interdisciplinary approaches to privacy in long-term longitudinal studies of human subjects. Long-term longitudinal studies collect, at multiple points over a…


Jun 21, 2021

What a Hybrid Legal-Technical Analysis Teaches Us About Privacy Regulation

The Case of Singling Out

Micah Altman, Aloni Cohen, Kobbi Nissim, and Alexandra Wood published a new article “What a Hybrid Legal-Technical Analysis Teaches Us About Privacy Regulation: The Case of…

Royal Society
Aug 6, 2018

Is privacy privacy?

On the differing and evolving notions of privacy across normative and technical perspectives

The Boston Globe
Jun 15, 2018

What Facebook can learn from academia about protecting privacy

The death of privacy is not inevitable.



AI unmasks anonymous chess players, posing privacy risks

In a Science article outlining the risks surrounding software that can identify anonymous chess players, Alexandra Wood says that it's part of a bigger issue: “Privacy threats are…

Jan 12, 2022
Journal of Medical Internet Research

Revolutionizing Medical Data Sharing Using Advanced Privacy-Enhancing Technologies: Technical, Legal, and Ethical Synthesis

Effy Vayena and colleagues publish in Journal of Medical Internet Research

Feb 26, 2021
The Hill

Machines don’t necessarily fix our biases, they mirror them.

We should not trust an algorithm unless it can be reviewed and audited in meaningful ways.

Feb 13, 2019


Nov 10, 2015 @ 12:00 PM

Bridging the gap between computer science and legal approaches to privacy

with Kobbi Nissim and Alexandra Wood

Can lawyers and computer scientists bridge their very different notions of privacy?