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[liberationtech] Tuesday, November 3 -- Roxana Geambasu: Privacy in a Data-Driven World

Yosem Companys companys at
Thu Oct 29 15:15:20 PDT 2015

From: David Wu <dwu4 at>

               Privacy in a Data-Driven World

                      Roxana Geambasu

                 Tuesday, November 3, 2015
                       Talk at 4:15pm
                         Gates 463


The concept of personal privacy as a precious and fragile
commodity worthy of protection has come under siege in today's
data-driven world. Users are eager to share their data online,
and mobile applications and web services aggressively collect and
monetize that information. This talk describes our vision for a new,
privacy-preserving world; in it, users are more aware of the privacy
implications of their online actions, and systems and applications are
designed from the ground up with privacy in mind.  In support of this
vision, we describe our research agenda to design, build, and evaluate
new transparency tools that increase users' and privacy watchdogs'
visibility into how personal data is being used by applications, and
programming abstractions and tools that facilitate the construction
of privacy-mindful applications.  We provide two examples of such
tools and abstractions.  First, we describe Sunlight, a new web
transparency tool that helps privacy watchdogs track how web services
use individuals' personal data to target ads, personalize content,
or adjust prices. Second, we describe FairTest, a new testing toolkit
that helps programmers test for unfair or discriminatory effects within
their data-driven applications.  Overall, our tools and abstractions
aim to increase privacy by promoting a more responsible, fair, and
accountable approach to user data management.


Roxana Geambasu is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at
Columbia University. She joined Columbia in Fall 2011 after finishing
her Ph.D. at the University of Washington.  For her work in cloud
and mobile data privacy, she received an Early Career Award in
Cybersecurity from the University of Washington Center for Academic
Excellence, a Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship, a 2014 "Brillint
10" Popular Science nomination, an NSF CAREER award, an Honorable
Mention for the 2013 inaugural Dennis M. Ritchie Doctoral Dissertation
Award, a William Chan Dissertation Award, two best paper awards at
top systems conferences, and the first Google Ph.D. Fellowship in
Cloud Computing.

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