Shining Light on Non-Public Data Flows

Principal Investigator(s): 
Nick Weaver and Gerald Friedland

This project looks into the usage and collection of data by programs that operate behind the scenes. The collected data and its use by a network of sellers, brokers, and marketers represents a direct privacy threat as it can be used for marketing, profiling, crime, or government surveillance, and yet consumers have little knowledge about it and no legal means to access the data. ICSI researchers are conducting surveys and experiments to determine the current status of this data and observe its effects. They are looking at the future of this type of data collection to determine when new types of content, such as video, will be added to these data pools. Finally, they are educating the public about the risks of this unseen data collection and providing guidance on avoiding its impact. This project is a collaboration between networking and security researchers and multimedia researchers at ICSI.

Funding provided by NSF.