Seminars & Colloquia

Rishab Nithyanand

Data & Society Research Institute

"Tussling with Anonymity and Privacy on the Internet"

Wednesday February 14, 2018 09:30 AM
Location: 3211, EB2 NCSU Centennial Campus
(Visitor parking instructions)


Abstract: In recent years the Internet has integrated itself into the critical infrastructure and its users have become increasingly dependent on it for commerce, communication, and social and political organization. This has resulted in the emergence of Internet stakeholders that have competing and contradictory interests. For example, given that the Internet economy is fueled by user data and targeted advertising, content providers aim to maximize their ability to gather user data and personally identifiable information (PII). This goal contradicts the interests of parties lobbying for consumer and privacy protection on the Internet. Effective regulation and resolution of such tussles by Internet governing authorities are hampered by the opacity of the Internet and the inability to uncover the behaviors of competing parties. In this talk I will focus on my most recent work that uncovers the state of two such tussles: (1) anonymity vs. accountability and (2) privacy vs. profitability.
Short Bio: Rishab Nithyanand is the Ford-Mozilla Fellow at the Data & Society Research Institute in New York. His work focuses on uncovering opaque Internet ecosystems and understanding the impact of the Internet on our socio-political realities. He graduated with a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stony Brook University in May 2017 where he was co-advised by Prof. Phillipa Gill and Prof. Rob Johnson. He was the recipient of the Ford-Mozilla Open Web Fellowship in 2017, a Senior Fellowship in the Open Technology Fund Emerging Technology Program in 2016, and the Qualcomm Research Franklin Antonio Fellowship in 2015.

Host: Alexandros Kapravelos, CSC

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