Professor Anindya Sen appointed Associate Director of Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute

Friday, May 6, 2022

Professor Anindya Sen (Economics) has been appointed Associate Director of the Waterloo Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute, a multi- and interdisciplinary research centre with more than 88 research members from across the faculties. Sen is not new to leadership, having held (and currently holding) positions including director of the Master of Public Service program, Acting Associate Dean of Arts, Co-operative Education and Planning, and founding director of the Graduate Diploma in Computational Data Analytics for the Social Sciences & Humanities (CDASH).

Read more below about Sen's research and goals related to the Waterloo Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute.

By Mayuri Punithan, Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute

As an economist and policymaker, Anindya Sen has always been fascinated by the concept of ‘choice’.

This fascination became fundamental to his primary research interests, continually asking, “Why do consumers make certain choices? What was their decision-making process?” For example, Sen often noticed that many consumers were willing to give up private information to gain access to a product, such as mobile apps. Many mobile services ask if they can install cookies, which can track personal information. Major websites such as Google and Facebook often sell users’ personal information to advertisers.

What intrigued Sen the most was that people often resisted sharing information with the government but were extremely willing to share sensitive information with the entities on the web in consumer interactions. Sen started to research more about the lengths consumers would go to give up their privacy and information in these interactions. He hopes to create policies where consumers have rights to the data that they share online, and whether they should receive a return for products where their data was used to create them.  From there, Sen became acquainted with the field of cybersecurity and privacy. While working as the director for UWaterloo’s Master of Public Service program, he was recommended to join CPI due to their research opportunities. As one of CPI’s researchers, he focuses on data science, security and privacy, as well as the human and societal aspects of security and privacy. In late 2020, he organized a conference on privacy and data collection through contract tracing apps, which CPI co-sponsored. [...]

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