Inaugural CPI Talk - Privacy Research that Matters

Privacy Research that Matters

Thursday, October 21 at 6 p.m.

Speakers: Jennifer Whitson and Ian Goldberg

There are many misconceptions about what privacy is and why it's worth protecting. Nonetheless, there is agreement that privacy is threatened by widespread corporate and other surveillance, and there is a sense of powerlessness in terms of how to preserve and protect privacy in response. 

Researchers at the University of Waterloo's Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute are addressing these challenges. In this talk, we discuss a number of engagements among CPI researchers, students, community organizers, and industry that demonstrate how to more effectively push back on these erosions of privacy. These challenges cannot be solved by one discipline—or even academia—alone. We offer thoughts on how students, faculty, and community members can all contribute to privacy research that matters.

Click here to watch this recording on Youtube!

Jennifer Whitson
Jennifer Whitson

Associate Professor, Stratford/Sociology and Legal Studies

University of Waterloo

Jennifer Whitson is a sociologist who researches the secret life of software, the people who make it, and how both change our daily lives. Her current projects centre on digital media incubators, indie game makers, and on the surveillance implications of data-driven design, respectively

She's particularly interested in the shifting production models of the global game industry, and tracing how risk management practices, data mining, and digital distribution shape developers' creative work and the larger cultural role of games. 

The design, deployment, and use of communication software is shaped by economic, social, technological and political concerns, which then create certain constraints and affordances in how people can use these technologies. For example, her work on gamification traces how governance and control are designed into games, smartphones, and websites, and how playful rationalities are used to shape user behaviour and thus govern through freedom and pleasure rather than fear and risk.

Man in red t shirt
Ian Goldberg

Professor, Cheriton School of Computer Science

University of Waterloo

Ian Goldberg is the Canada Research Chair in Privacy Enhancing Technologies.  He is a Professor in the Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo, where he is a founding member of the Cryptography, Security, and Privacy (CrySP) research group.  He holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, where he discovered serious weaknesses in a number of widely deployed security systems, including those used by cellular phones and wireless networks.  He also studied systems for protecting the personal privacy of Internet users, which led to his role as Chief Scientist at Zero-Knowledge Systems, a Montreal-based startup.  His research currently focuses on developing usable and useful technologies to help Internet users maintain their security and privacy.  He is a Distinguished Member of the Association for Computing Machinery and a winner of the Outstanding Young Computer Science Researcher Award, the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Pioneer Award, the USENIX Security Test of Time Award, and the Caspar Bowden Award for Outstanding Research in Privacy Enhancing Technologies.