Our research focuses on technical solutions to protect users’ privacy during the use of modern technologies, such as the Internet, mobile phones, and smart devices. Although these technologies are increasingly prevalent and pervade every aspect of life, they use black-box algorithms transmit user data to service providers and third parties, leading the erosion of privacy often in hidden and non-obvious ways.
Research in this area is challenging because of the complexity of the global sociotechnical system which is comprised of users, device manufacturers, applications, operating systems, and the societal and legal environments in which they operate. Key challenges are:
- Determining the properties of specific technologies which can only be studied as black-box systems from the outside
- Creating solutions that protect human rights and evaluating their effectiveness
- Encouraging uptake of technical solutions and influencing the legal and regulatory environments.
Our work follows interconnected strands focusing on privacy and transparency. Methodologically, we rely on quantitative experimental methods, but sometimes also qualitative methods such as focus groups.