The Privacy, Security, Secrecy, & Transparency Laboratory (Psst! Lab) is off to a great first semester. We are currently working on two different research areas.

California Consumer Privacy Act

Alastair Mactaggart et. al. created 
a ballot initiative in California for 
new privacy rights, which has since transitioned to the first general privacy law in the country: the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA.) Enforcement of the CCPA starts in the summer of 2020.

Our research addresses questions around the technical mechanisms needed for people to be able to use their new rights in practice. Funded by Cylab, we also address the compliance gaps between how Internet of Things (IoT) devices work today and what will be legally required of them in the near future.

Professor McDonald has given testimony to the California Assembly on this topic (June 27, 2018.) We have one paper in revision, and a second paper in preparation.

Political Advertising Transparency

The same sort of data that drives online targeted behavioral advertising is now also used:

Facebook, Google (including YouTube,) and Twitter agreed to publish "transparency reports" as one response to Congressional interest in this topic. Whether transparency is a reasonable response is a valid question. At this time we are taking up a more basic question: do these reports and tools provide useful transparency?

We have one publication in review, and one in preparation.

Members of Psst! Lab

Coming soon.

Join the fun

Internships available for Summer, 2019.
Nothing available for Fall, 2019.
Independent Study and Research Assistant positions available for Spring, 2020.

INI students (SV or Pittsburgh) are particularly encouraged to apply. Please email your CV or resume to Professor McDonald along with a brief description of your research interests.