This is a non-exhaustive TLDR list of current and ongoing projects in the laboratory.
Misinformation on End-to-End Encrypted Messaging Platforms. We are studying how users encounter and process misinformation on WhatsApp. Student Researchers: Brennan Schaffner and Kevin Feng (PhD Student at University of Washington)
Content Moderation on Social Media Platforms. We are studying how different social media platforms handle content moderation. Student Researchers: Brennan Schaffner Collaborators: Nick Feamster (UChicago), Chenhao Tan (UChicago), Arjun Bhagoji. Funded by Data Science Institute Grant.
Dark Patterns/User Agency In Online Platforms. We have studied how users recognize and deal with disguised advertisements and built a Chrome and Firefox extension called AdIntuition to help users better recognize affiliate marketing on YouTube. We have also studied how shopping websites manipulate users with dark patterns. We are continuing to study how various online dark patterns affect users. Student Researchers: Brennan Schaffner
Security and Privacy Education For Kids (SPE4K): We are working with two partner schools to develop educational resources for K-5 around online privacy and security. Student Researchers: Elana Blinder (UMD), Zoe Torok, Kelly Wagman Collaborators: Tammy Clegg (UMD) and Jessica Vitak (UMD). Funded by SATC edu grant.
Exploring Use of Voice-Assistant Based Wellness Interventions For Marginalized Older Adults. We are studying the needs of older adults for connecting socially and for improving wellness using an asset-based approach. Student Researchers: Kelly Wagman Collaborators: Nick Feamster, Louise Hawkley (NORC), and Megan Huisingh-Scheetz (UChicago Medicine). Funded by NIH grant.
Privacy and Security For Under-served and Marginalized Communities. We have studied the privacy and security needs of under-served and marginalized communities including low-income mobile users in South Africa funded by a Facebook Securing the Internet grant. Most recently, we are examining how activists manage online privacy and security concerns and in-person activism. Student Researchers: Maia Boyd, Jamar Sullivan, Lily Hackworth Collaborators: Blase Ur (UChicago)
Privacy and Security Implications of K-12 Educational Technologies. We are studying the privacy and security implications of educational technologies used in K-12. Student Researchers: Jake Chanenson, Andre Dang, and Brandon Sloane (NYU) Collaborators: Danny Huang (NYU). Funded by NSF CAREER grant.
Privacy Enhancing Tools. We are always interested in seeing how effective privacy enhancing tools are for end-users. We have studied Tor browser, Ad-Blockers, and most recently, Virtual Private Networks.
Privacy and Security and Smart Home Internet of Things (IoT). We have conducted user studies of smart home Internet of Things devices in the home and are continuing to examine this topic.
To provide more information, these projects are about making the Internet more inclusive.
Connecting Contexts: Security And Privacy Education For Kids (SPE4K)
We have been studying how to help children aged 5-11 learn about online privacy and security and developing educational resources to achieve this purpose. We have two partner schools, one in Illinois and one in Maryland that we are working with to achieve these goals. The broader impacts of this work are to impact cybersecurity training for elementary school children by facilitating their learning about basic Internet and technology concepts and developing those skills to help them make smarter and safer decisions online. We aim to impact our target schools via teacher professional development sessions, parent-focused seminars, and educational resources for elementary school aged children on online privacy and security. We also aim to make any resources from this project publicly accessible. Read more on the SPE4K website.
Student Researchers: Elana Blinder (UMD), Zoe Torok, and Kelly Wagman
Collaborators: Tammy Clegg (University of Maryland, College Park) and Jessica Vitak (University of Maryland, College Park)
Funded by two Google Faculty Research Awards in the past and currently by a NSF SATC Edu grant.
Voice-Assistant Based Wellness Interventions For Older Adults
Together with collaborators at UChicago Medicine and Rush we are conducting a randomized controlled trial of a voice-assistant based wellness program called EngAGE. The broader impacts of this work are to understand what factors influence the adoption of voice assistants by marginalized and under-served older adults in Chicago. We also aim to make any resources from this project publicly accessible.
Student Researchers: Kelly Wagman
Collaborators: Nick Feamster, Megan Huisingh-scheetz, Louise Hawkley
Funded by an NIH grant.
These projects are about making the Internet more trustworthy.
Exploring Privacy and Security Implications Of K-12 Educational Technologies
Together with collaborators at NYU, we are investigating the privacy and security implications of educational technologies on children in K-12. The broader impacts of this work are to understand whether current policy regulations protect children’s privacy and security. We also aim to make any resources from this project publicly accessible. Read out our preliminary explorations on the K12 Inspector website.
Student Researchers: Jake Chanenson, Andre Dang
Collaborators: Danny Huang, Brandon Sloane
Funded by a CAREER grant.
Exploring User Experiences With Netflix
We are exploring how users experience Netflix and streaming media services and how that feeds into technology addiction. The broader impacts of this work are to understand how much agency users have around Netflix viewing behaviors and how interface design can impact screentime.
Student Researchers: Logen Li and Brennan Schaffner