WWS Calendar

CITP Lunch: Arvind Narayanan - Ending the Online Panopticon

Sep 30, 2014 12:30PM to 01:30PM
Sherrerd Hall
Room 306


Restricted to Princeton University
Arvind Narayanan - Professor of Computer Science, Princeton

Center for Information Technology Policy

When we browse the web, data about us is collected, traded and put to use in creative ways. The Panopticon derived its terrible power because the inmates did not know when they were being observed. Similarly it is the utter lack of transparency that makes web tracking problematic. The Princeton Web Transparency and Accountability Project (http://webtap.princeton.edu) aims to reverse engineer online data collection, flow, and use. The goal is correct market failures in online privacy, foster accountability for privacy, security, and ethical failures, and enable a more informed public debate. Our central technical thesis is that a single modular platform can enable a variety of experiments to reverse engineer privacy-impacting practices. In these experiments an automated, simulated user (i.e., a bot) browses the web, and we monitor and analyze flows of personal data. In this talk I’ll describe our work so far, the challenges ahead, and how you can help.
Arvind Narayanan is an Assistant Professor in Computer Science at Princeton, and an affiliated faculty member at the Center for Information Technology Policy. He was previously a post-doctoral fellow at the Stanford Computer Science department and a Junior Affiliate Scholar at the Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society. He studies privacy from a multidisciplinary perspective, focusing on the intersection between technology, law and policy. His research has shown that data anonymization is broken in fundamental ways, for which he jointly received the 2008 Privacy Enhancing Technologies Award. He is one of the researchers behind the “Do Not Track” proposal.
Food and discussion begin at 12:30pm. Open to current Princeton faculty, staff, and students. Open to members of the public by invitation only. Please contact Laura Cummings-Abdo at lcumming@princeton.edu if you are interested in attending a particular lunch.