Thursday, January 31, 2013

CMU Privacy Day Highlights Challenges and Showcases Research

At CMU, Data Privacy Day was recognized with a CyLab-sponsored panel discussion and poster session. Moderated by CyLab researcher Norman Sadeh, the panel included CyLab researchers Lorrie Cranor and Jason Hong, along with computer science faculty Travis Breaux. Privacy was the overarching topic, but the discussion focused on key points regarding data collection and usage practice, and regulation.

The panel first discussed data collection and usage practices. It is clear that awareness of data collection has increased, mostly due to mobile applications and the requirement to agree to application permissions. However, Jason Hong offered, “People are surprised … they don’t know how much data is being collected and what is being done with it.”

Lorrie Cranor added, “There is very little control over what apps actually collect when they are on your phone, what they do with it, and then whatever data is collected, how it is further shared.”
Discussion of regulation popped up during data collection. Whether provided by industry or government, regulation is seen as essential to protect privacy. Many proposals offered by government support self-regulation, provided by the industry. A set of guidelines, or best practices, can be released by the industry, but as technology advances, self-regulating policies become outmoded. As new and innovative devices and applications are created, Hong offers, “It is not clear what the set of best practices are... how to do you take these principles and apply to the mobile space or new areas that we haven’t even imagined yet.”

Discussion continued on what the panel felt were the biggest challenges in privacy, as well as, their current research projects on data privacy. Some of those projects were presented at a poster session, which followed the panel.

Watch the panel discussion in its entirety.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

CyLab Seminar Series Offers Vital Perspectives on Critical Issues in Cyber Security and Privacy

On Mondays at noon, during the school year, CyLab presents its Seminar Series.

These talks highlight the research of CyLab faculty as well as visiting scholars.

In addition, through the CyLab Business Risks Forum, experts in security and privacy from business and government share vital operational perspectives.

Online access to the Seminar Series is a benefit of CyLab partnership. Our corporate partners have exclusive access to both our live webcasts and our full archive of past seminars via the CyLab Partners Portal.

Each year, a few select seminar videos are released publicly via You Tube and iTunes to further scientific research, heighten awareness and encourage public discourse on critical issues.

The 2012-2013 Seminar Series started off with CyLab Senior Systems Scientist Nicolas Christin delivering an update on his compelling research into cybercrime, Traveling the Silk Road: A measurement analysis of a large online anonymous marketplace. The next week, filmmaker Jeremy Zerechak joined three CyLab researchers in a panel on his award-winning hacker documentary Code 2600. (The panel, moderated by Dr. Lorrie Cranor, one of several leading cyber security and privacy experts featured in the film, was followed that evening with the film’s Pittsburgh debut.)

Other 2012 fall semester offerings ranged from CyLab Director Virgil Gligor on Foundations of Trust in Networks of Humans and Computers to CyLab Research Systems Scientist Limin Jia on Run-Time Enforcement of Information-Flow Properties on Android.

The fall program also featured two visiting scholars, Yih-Chun Hu, Associate Professor, University of Illinois on Dynamic Jamming Avoidance, and Richard Clayton, security researcher at the University of Cambridge on Measuring Cybercrime.

In addition, two Business Risks Forum events were also held, Marcus Ranum, CTO of Tenable, on Cyberwar: You're Doing It Wrong!, and Christopher Burgess, CSO of Atigeo on Collaborative Distributed Inferencing - Intelligent Control of Data and Networks

Fifteen more seminars are scheduled for the Spring 2013 program.

To whet your appetite for what is to come, here are two fall 2012 semester seminars from leading CyLab researchers: David Brumley on Safe Software and Lorrie Cranor on Spoofing Operating System Security Interfaces to Study User Security Behaviors. For more samples, visit the CyLab You Tube Channel and the CyLab on iTunes