Simson L. Garfinkel is a Computer Scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Information Technology Laboratory. Garfinkel's research interests include big data, privacy, usability, social justice, and data fusion. He holds seven US patents and has published dozens of research articles for his work in computer security and digital forensics. He is an ACM Fellow, an IEEE Senior Member, as a member of the National Association of Science Writers.
Garfinkel is the author or co-author of fourteen books on computing. He is perhaps best known for his book Database Nation: The Death of Privacy in the 21st Century. His book Practical UNIX and Internet Security (co-authored with Gene Spafford and Alan Schwartz), has sold more than 250,000 copies and been translated into more than a dozen languages since the first edition was published in 1991.
Prior earning his PhD, Garfinkel worked as a science journalist, during which time he wrote more than a thousand articles about science, technology, and technology policy in the popular press. He has won numerous 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.