Simson L. Garfinkel is the Senior Computer Scientist for Confidentiality and Data Access at the US Census Bureau. His current research interests include privacy in big data, cybersecurity and usability. He holds seven US patents and has published dozens of research articles in computer security and digital forensics. He is a fellow of both the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and a member of the National Association of Science Writers.
Garfinkel is the author or co-author of fifteen books on computing. His most recent book is The Computer Book, which features 250 chronologically arranged milestones in the history of computing from the ancient Abacus (c. 2500BCE) to the limits of computation far in the future. He is also known for his Database Nation, which explored privacy issues, and Practical UNIX and Internet Security, which sold more than 250,000 copies.
Garfinkel is also a journalist and has written more than a thousand articles about science, technology, and technology policy in the popular press since 1983. He has won several national journalism awards, including the Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism Award. Today he mostly writes for MIT's Technology Review Magazine and the technologyreview.com website.
As an entrepreneur, Garfinkel founded five companies between 1989 and 2000, including Vineyard.NET, which provided Internet service on Martha's Vineyard to more than a thousand customers from 1995 through 2005, and Sandstorm Enterprises, an early developer of computer forensic tools.
Garfinkel received three Bachelor of Science degrees from MIT in 1987, a Master's of Science in Journalism from Columbia University in 1988, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from MIT in 2005.