Tutorials

I am an Associate Professor in Computer Science at De Montfort University in Leicester, UK. My research focuses on privacy technologies, privacy metrics, web measurement, and smart cities.

Methods of Corporate Surveillance: a Primer on Experimental Transparency Research

Abstract

News headlines about privacy invasions, discrimination, and biases discovered in the platforms of big technology companies are commonplace today. The headlines -- ranging from comprehensive profiling of users, to microtargeting of political messages, to discrimination based on gender, race, and age -- show that big tech's operations can cause real-world harm. However, big tech companies are reluctant to disclose how they operate and typically do not give out specific information, such as what data they collect or how their algorithms make decisions. This secretive operation counteracts ideals of transparency, openness, and accountability. This tutorial will present research methods and findings from the last 5-10 years that use large-scale experiments to systematically interact with the publicly accessible elements of big tech's platforms. These experiments allow inferring details about big tech’s hidden operations -- in essence conducting meta-surveillance against big tech. For example, findings from these experiments have documented how user tracking works, the extent of tracking on the web today, and how the collected information is used for algorithmic decision-making and ad targeting.

Speakers

Editions

  1. CCNC 2020, Las Vegas, USA. January 2020
  2. The Web Conference (WWW 2020), Taipei, Taiway, April 2020.

Bibliography

The bibliography for the tutorial is available here.


Privacy in the Smart City

Abstract

Many modern cities strive to integrate information technology into every aspect of city life to create so-called smart cities. Smart cities rely on a large number of application areas and technologies to realize complex interactions between citizens, third parties, and city departments. This overwhelming complexity is one reason why holistic privacy protection only rarely enters the picture. A lack of privacy can result in discrimination and social sorting, creat- ing a fundamentally unequal society. To prevent this, we believe that a better understanding of smart cities and their privacy im- plications is needed. In this tutorial, we therefore systematize the application areas, enabling technologies, privacy types, attackers and data sources for the attacks, giving structure to the fuzzy term "smart city". Based on our taxonomies, we describe existing privacy- enhancing technologies, review the state of the art in real cities around the world, and discuss promising future research directions. Our tutorial can be seen as a guide to understanding and designing privacy-friendly smart city applications.

Speakers

Editions

  1. ISC2, Trento, Italy. September 2016. DOWNLOAD SLIDES
  2. ASIACCS 2018, Songdo, Korea. June 2018 DOWNLOAD SLIDES