Generally speaking, my research spans many areas of computer systems, including distributed systems, security and privacy, operating systems, and applications of cryptography and machine learning to systems problems. Much of my ongoing research aims to develop a new model for privacy for today’s web data-driven world. Today’s web, a complex ecosystem, is largely driven by the collection and monetization of personal data. Many web services, mobile applications, and third party trackers collect and use our personal data for varied purposes, e.g., to target ads, personalize recommendations, and fine-tune prices. At present, we have no window into how our data is being used, and there is little or no accountability required of the services, raising the risk for deceptive and unfair practices.

My team and I seek a new model for how we address such personal privacy issues. We envision a web environment where users are more aware of the privacy consequences of their online actions and make more informed decisions about the services they use. In our model, services and applications are held accountable for their actions and are explicitly constructed to protect user privacy. To forge this new web ecosystem, we design, build, and evaluate: (1) new transparency tools that increase society’s oversight regarding how applications use personal data in order to detect and deter unfair and deceptive practices; (2) new development tools that assist programmers in building applications that are privacy-preserving by design; and (3) new abstractions for responsible data management that promote and facilitate a more rigorous and selective approach to data collection and retention.

Ongoing Projects

Notable Past Projects: