Can We Reconcile Privacy and Usability? An Overview of Research at Carnegie Mellon

Speaker:        Professor Norman Sadeh
                School of Computer Science
                Carnegie Mellon University

Title:          "Can We Reconcile Privacy and Usability?
                An Overview of Research at Carnegie Mellon"

Date:           Thursday, 31 May 2012

Time:           3:00pm - 4:00pm

Venue:          Lecture Theatre F (near lifts 25/26), HKUST


Increasingly users are expected to evaluate and configure a variety of
privacy policies (e.g. browser settings, mobile app permissions, or social
networking accounts). In practice, research shows that users often have
great difficulty evaluating and configuring such policies. As part of this
presentation, I will provide an overview of research aimed at empowering
users to better control their privacy in the context of a family of
location sharing applications we have deployed over the years. This
includes technologies to analyze people's privacy preferences and help
design interfaces that are capable of effectively capturing their desired
policies. This research helps explain why, with the possible exception of
Foursquare, applications in this space have failed to gain traction and
what it will likely take to go beyond the mundane scenarios captured by
Foursquare. Part of this talk will be devoted to user-oriented machine
learning techniques intended to reduce user-burden and help users converge
towards policies they feel more comfortable with. Beyond location sharing,
this talk will also discuss our longer-term goal of developing
personalized privacy assistants (or "agents") capable of engaging in
dialogues with users to help them semi-automatically evaluate privacy
policies and configure privacy settings.


Norman Sadeh is a Professor in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie
Mellon University. His current research interests include Mobile and
Pervasive Computing, Web Security and Privacy, Artificial Intelligence,
Machine Learning and Human Computer Interaction. He is also interested in
the broader social and policy issues associated with the emergence of
social and pervasive computing.

Norman is co-Founder and co-Director of the School of Computer Science's
PhD Program in Computation, Organizations and Society. He is also Founder
and Director of the School's Mobile Commerce Lab. He has been on the
faculty at Carnegie Mellon since 1991 and is also well-known for his
earlier work in scheduling, constraint satisfaction and constrained
optimization, supply chain management, automated trading, and the Semantic
Web. In the late nineties, he served as Chief Scientist of the European
Union's $800M e-Work and e-Commerce program, which at the time included
all pan-European research in cyber security and online privacy. Norman is
also co-founder of Wombat Security Technologies. Among other awards and
honors, Norman was co-recipient of IBM's 2005 Privacy Faculty award and of
the first Google Focused Research Award in Privacy.

Norman received his PhD in computer science from Carnegie Mellon
University, an MSc, also in computer science, from the University of
Southern California, and a BS/MSc in Electrical Engineering and Applied
Physics from Brussels Free University.