Below are brief descriptions of the main projects the lab is working on.

 

Since 2016, Vitak, Chetty, Clegg, and Kumar have been working on a Google-funded project to develop resources to help teachers, parents, and elementary school-aged children better understand privacy and security concepts.

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Mega Subramaniam (UMD) and Vitak were awarded an IMLS grant in fall 2016 to develop resources for librarians and the economically disadvantaged families they serve. They have partnered with four libraries across the state of Maryland to develop and pilot these resources.

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Michael Zimmer (UW-Milwaukee) and Vitak were awarded a NSF EAGER in 2016 for a collaborative project with the Netherlands on mobile privacy and surveillance. During the first stage of data collection, they focused on fitness apps (in the US) and mobile messaging (in the Netherlands). In the second stage, both teams looked at intelligent personal assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home.

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In late summer 2017, Shilton, Vitak, Zimmer, and four other researchers were awarded an NSF Large grant to study the ethical issues raised from the increasing availability and ease of access of large troves of digital data about people. This builds on prior survey studies by Shilton and Vitak on attitudes and behaviors large large-scale data collection by researchers and IRBs.

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In 2016-2017, Vitak partnered with two Baltimore high schools to collect pilot data for a study examining how privacy and disclosure norms evolve during late adolescence.

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