iLunch Talk (April 23) Lattice-Based Contextual Integrity Analysis of Social Network Privacy Policies

Lattice-Based Contextual Integrity Analysis of Social Network Privacy Policies

When: Friday April 23, 12 noon – 1:00 pm

Where: Zoom Meeting ID:  863 9169 3528   Password: 393849

Who: Stephen Kaplan, Dylan Bulmer, Avery Gosselin
Affiliation: PERC_Lab, SCIS

Abstract: Use of online social networks (OSNs) is increasingly prevalent in modern social circles, motivating consumers to further integrate themselves into the ecosystems of social media sites. Consequently, users are increasingly tasked with understanding the implications of consenting to the data collection and processing practices of social networks. At the same time, privacy policies are often vague, convoluted, and ultimately confusing to users, leading to misconceptions and gaps in user understanding of privacy practices. Thus, intentionally or not, the privacy policies of OSNs mislead consumers. We propose a multi-phase framework, called Lattice-Based Contextual Integrity Analysis, or LCIA, to help make quantitative determinations about how likely an OSN’s privacy policy is to mislead consumers in regard to the network’s information flow practices, relative to other OSNs. We base LCIA on three major conceptual frameworks: U.S. and E.U. privacy regulations, Nissenbaum et al.’s concept of contextual integrity, and Ghazinour et al.’s lattice representation of privacy elements. We will discuss these frameworks, the current research challenges in standardizing policy analysis, and our ongoing work to analyze and compare OSN privacy practices in concrete terms.


Stephen Kaplan

Stephen Kaplan is a third-year honors student studying computer science and mathematics at the University of Maine. He joined UMaine’s Privacy Engineering – Regulatory Compliance Research Lab (PERC_Lab) in October 2018, and his primary research interests include privacy in Android applications, social networks, and Internet of Things devices, as well as privacy education. Stephen works for the UMaine Honors College’s Servant Heart Research Collaborative, where he leads a team of student developers creating educational software for schools in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Beyond privacy and software development, Stephen has interests in cybersecurity, cloud computing, and project management.

Dylan Bulmer

Dylan Bulmer is a fourth-year undergraduate student studying Computer Science at the University of Maine. Dylan has interests in IT, software development, database management, and cloud infrastructure, and he aims to incorporate privacy-preserving technologies into all of his development efforts. In Fall 2019, Dylan joined the Privacy Engineering – Regulatory Compliance Lab (PERC_Lab) and began developing tools, such as an annotation platform, to advance current and future projects. He started the LCIA project alongside Stephen Kaplan in Fall 2020.

Avery Gosselin

Avery Gosselin is a second-year honors student studying computer science and neuroscience at the University of Maine. Avery joined the PERC_Lab in March 2021 and is working to advance the LCIA project. Avery also manages the cloud infrastructure for the Servant Heart Research Collaborative’s exam preparation platform. Having focused his undergraduate career on the practical side of software development, he is looking forward to exploring the intricacies of privacy through the PERC_Lab’s novel research, with particular interest in improving the efficacy of privacy notices.

Host: School of Computing and Information Science, University of Maine

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