Invited Talk by Mainack Mondal:"Managing user privacy in online social networks".

Invited Talk by Mainack Mondal:”Managing user privacy in online social networks”.

Title: Managing user privacy in online social networks
Speaker: Mr.Mainack Mondal
Host Faculty: Dr. Maunendra Sankar Desarkar
Room No: 317
Time: 10:30


Today Online social network (OSN) users upload millions of pieces of content to share with others every day. While a significant portion of this content is benign, there are certain pieces of content that are highly privacy sensitive. Exposing such content to unintended friends might lead to serious privacy violation scenarios. For example consider a recruiter finding old pictures of wild party nights from a job applicant’s Facebook profile and immediately discarding her application. The same users who upload this content (both benign and sensitive) are also expected to manage their privacy — i.e., select the appropriate privacy setting for each piece of content — a task that is both time-consuming and complex. As a result users often do not change their default privacy settings while sharing their content and end up leaking information to unintended friends.

To this end the overarching goal of our work is to design tools and mechanisms to help OSN users manage their privacy. We start with the higher level goal to improve existing privacy mechanisms like access control lists (ACLs). Users can specify who can or can not access each of their content using these access control lists. To achieve our goal we first aim to understand the usage of such ACLs by OSN users. We use real world content sharing preferences for this purpose. Then we explore the effectiveness of the state of the art proposals to help users share content with these ACLs. Based on our findings we propose a simple yet quite effective modification to the existing systems for improving the usability of such ACLs. Finally we move on to some real world privacy violation scenarios where access control does not come to much aid to users. We will conclude the talk about our ongoing work to address such privacy violations.

Speaker’s Bio:​

Mainack Mondal is a graduate student in the Networked Systems research group at the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems (MPI-SWS) in Germany. He received his dual degree (B. Tech and M. Tech, 2010) in Computer Science and Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.

His research interests broadly lie in the area of networked systems with an emphasis on privacy of users in such systems. Specifically he is interested in measuring and analyzing privacy related user actions in large networked systems (e.g., today’s online social networks) which yields answers to many important and exciting questions with practical significance.

His work on user privacy has led to papers in AAAI’s ICWSM, ACM/Usenix’s SOUPS, ACM’s CSCW, ACM’s CoNExt and Usenix’s EuroSys. His work also received best paper award in ACM/Usenix’s SOUPS.

Monday, December 14, 2015 - 10:30 to 12:30