UCL Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science


Security and Crime Science academics awarded £25,000 Concept Grant by SAGE Ocean

1 July 2019

Dr Bennett Kleinberg, Dr Toby Davies and PhD student Maximilian Mozes have won a £25,000 Concept Grant from SAGE Ocean to develop Text Wash: a smart anonymization tool that enables social scientists to access untapped textual datasets.

Text Wash is being developed by Dr Bennett KleinbergMaximilian Mozes and Dr Toby Davies. It is a new software tool that anonymizes personally identifiable data as text data, making it accessible to social scientists without compromising its usability for research. SAGE Ocean has awarded a Concept Grant of £25,000 to the Department of Security and Crime Science to enable the team to get the tool off the ground and promote ethical and intelligent data sharing practices.

Current approaches to anonymizing data (which may be necessary for many reasons, including GDPR) render the texts unusable for follow-up research. Text Wash solves this problem by anonymizing the text data without compromising its quality, using natural language processing and machine learning to identify and replace sensitive information while preserving the semantic and grammatical structures in text. Contact Dr Bennett Kleinberg if you would like further information.