GREPSEC Panel: The Myriad Challenges of Privacy, Maritza Johnson

We began our panel on privacy research by differentiating privacy research from security. No doubt, we cannot have privacy without appropriate security measures, but the two research areas differ quite a bit. Perhaps the biggest difference is that broad nature of privacy as a discipline. Privacy spans a range of issues and can take on a different meaning depending on the context. Some of the facets that tend to be the main focus include the collection, storage, sharing, and use of data. In the same way that security relies on threat models and the notion of a party to protect data from, privacy usually also involves third parties and others whom might gain access to data or leverage it in unexpected or unwanted ways. We then continued our panel by discussing our respective research experience, I spoke about my dissertation research which can be found on my website, then discussed my experience moving from a postdoc in computer science to a privacy manager at Facebook to a user experience researcher at Google. I stressed the importance of working with interdisciplinary teams with openness and deference to the expertise of others, while maintaining your core competencies (which are likely to be on the technical side of things).