Nan Zhang:Privacy & Security Implications of Web Data:Challenges & Opportunities

Dartmouth Events

Nan Zhang:Privacy & Security Implications of Web Data:Challenges & Opportunities

Data on the web contain a gold mine of information for analysts and consumers alike. At the same time, such data often reveal rich personal information.....

Tuesday, January 31, 2017
4:30pm-5:30pm
Kemeny Hall 007
Intended Audience(s): Public
Categories: Lectures & Seminars

Data on the web contain a gold mine of information for analysts and consumers alike: price trends of products and services, job opportunities in different industries, opinions and reviews from experts and ordinary users.  At the same time, such data often reveal rich personal information or sensitive knowledge of their individual contributors or organizational owners, causing significant security and privacy concerns.  Yet, we know very little about what information, factual or analytical, can be extracted from the various types of web repositories.

In this talk, I will discuss our recent work on two aspects of web data privacy and security: First, I will describe a series of sampling-based designs that exploit the common features of many web data repositories, from ranking functions used by online social networks to keyword searches provided by enterprise search engines, to reveal unexpected yet sensitive information in an efficient manner.  Then, I will explore the design of a defensive platform on three layers of a web repository: the backend data, the query processing engine, and the front-end interface design.  I will also argue that new research on the relationships between the design of web access interfaces and the information extractable through such interfaces could help guide the design of our platform and the design of web data repositories in general, given the rising importance of data available in such repositories.

Dr. Nan Zhang is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA. He is currently on leave at the US National Science Foundation, serving as a Program Director in the Division of Information and Intelligent Systems (IIS) and the liaison of IIS in the Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) program.  Dr. Zhang’s research interests include information privacy/security, databases, and data analytics.  His research is currently supported by the US National Science Foundation, the US Army Research Office, and the Qatar Foundation.  His work has received several awards, including the NSF CAREER award in 2008, Best Paper Awards from IEEE ICC 2013 and IEEE NAS 2010, the Best Student Paper Award from ACM CIKM 2013, and a Best Paper Nomination from IEEE ISI 2015.  His work on technology transfer was also recognized by the GW Technology Transfer Innovation Price and the first place finish at the GW Business Plan Competition, both in 2012.

For more information, contact:
Sandra Hall

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.