University of Maryland


Below we provide links to research from the lab and its researchers on networked privacy, security, ethics, and surveillance topics. If you are unable to access a paper, contact the authors and they will send you a PDF.

  • Vitak, J., & Zimmer, M. (2021, October). From watched at work to watched at home: Workplace surveillance during a pandemic. Paper presented at AoIR 2021: The 22nd Annual Conference of the Association of Internet Researchers. [pdf]
  • Hargittai, E., Redmiles, E., Vitak, J., & Zimmer, M. (2020). Americans’ willingness to adopt a COVID-19 tracking app: The role of app distributor. First Monday, 25(11). [open access]
  • Kumar, P.C., Subramaniam, M., Vitak, J., Clegg, T.L., & Chetty, M. (2020). Strengthening children’s privacy literacy through contextual integrity. Media and Communication, 8(4), 175-184. doi: 10.17645/mac.v8i4.3236
  • Vitak, J. & Zimmer, M. (2020). More than just privacy: Using contextual integrity to evaluate the long-term risks from covid-19 surveillance technologies. Social Media and Society.­ [open access]
  • Wu, P., Vitak, J., & Zimmer, M. (2020). A contextual approach to information privacy research. JASIST, 71, 485-490. [pdf]
  • Kumar, P., Vitak, J., Clegg, T., & Chetty, M. (2019). The platformization of the classroom: Teachers as surveillant consumers. Surveillance & Society, 17(1/2), 145-152.
  • Pridmore, J., Zimmer, M., Vitak, J., Mols, A., Trottier, D., Kumar, P., & Liao, Y. (2019). Intelligent personal assistants and the article intercultural negotiations of dataveillance in platformed households. Surveillance & Society, 17(1/2), 125-131.
  • Zimmer, M., Kumar, P., Vitak, J., Liao, Y., & Kritikos, K. (2020). “There’s nothing really they can do with this information”: Unpacking how users manage privacy boundaries for personal fitness information. Information, Communication, and Society, 23(7), 1020-1037. [pdf]
  • Kumar, P., Chetty, M., Clegg, T., & Vitak, J. (2019). Privacy and security considerations for digital technology use in elementary schools. Proceedings of the 2016 Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) (pp. forthcoming). New York: ACM.  [pdf]
  • Liao, Y., Vitak, J., Kumar, P., Zimmer, M., & Kritikos, K. (2019). Understanding the role of privacy and trust in intelligent personal assistant adoption. Proceedings of the 13th Annual iConference, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (iConference), volume 11420, 102-113. [pdf] [this paper won the Lee Dirks Best Paper Award]
  • Vitak, J., Liao, Y., Subramaniam, M., & Kumar, P. (2018). “I knew it was too good to be true”: The challenges economically disadvantaged internet users face in assessing trustworthiness, avoiding scams, and developing self-efficacy online. Proceedings of the ACM: HCI: CSCW, Article No. 176. New York: ACM. doi: 10.1145/3274445 [pdf]
  • Mathur, A., Vitak, J., Narayanan, A., & Chetty, M. (2018). Characterizing the use of browser-based blocking extensions to prevent online tracking. Proceedings of the USENIX Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS) (pp. 103-116). Usenix Association. [pdf]
  • McNally, B., Kumar, P., Hordatt, C., Mauriello, M.L., Naik, S., Norooz, L., Shorter, A., Golub, E., & Druin, A. (2018). Co-designing Mobile Online Safety Applications with Children. In Proceedings of the 36th Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI’18). Montréal, Canada. April 21-26, 2018. [pdf]
  • Kumar, P., Vitak, J., Chetty, M., Clegg, T.L., Yang, J., McNally, B., & Bonsignore (2018). Co-designing online privacy-related games and stories with children. Proceedings of 2018 ACM Interaction Design and Children (IDC) Conference (pp. 67-79). New York: ACM. doi:10.1145/3202185.3202735 [pdf]
  • Vitak, J., Kumar, P., & Liao, Y. (2018, May). How communication technologies introduce privacy turbulence in families during late adolescence. Paper presented at the 68th International Communication Association Conference, Prague, Czech Republic. [presentation slides]
  • Liao, Y., & Vitak, J. (2018, May). Benefits and risks of personal health information sharing online: PatientsLikeMe users’ privacy concerns and self-protection strategies. Paper presented at the 68th International Communication Association Conference, Prague, Czech Republic.
  • Kumar, P. (2018, May). Emerging norms and privacy implications of parental online sharing: The perspective of the STFU, Parents blog. Paper presented at the 68th International Communication Association Conference, Prague, Czech Republic.
  • Vitak, J., Liao, Y., Kumar, P., Zimmer, M., & Kritikos, K. (2018). Privacy attitudes and data valuation among fitness tracker users. Proceedings of the 13th Annual iConference. [pdf]
  • Vitak, J., Liao, Y., Kumar, P., & Subramaniam, M. (2018). Librarians as information intermediaries: Navigating tensions between being helpful and being liable. Proceedings of the 13th Annual iConference. [pdf]
  • Kumar, P., Naik, S.M., Devkar, U.R., Chetty, M., Clegg, T.L., & Vitak, J. (2017), ‘No telling passcodes out because they’re private’: Understanding children’s mental models of online privacy and security. Proceedings of the ACM: HCI: CSCW, 1(1), Article 64. doi: 10.1145/3134699 [link] [pdf]
  • Dogruel, L., Joeckel, S., & Vitak, J. (2017). The valuation of privacy premium features for smartphone apps: The influence of defaults and experts. Computers in Human Behavior, 77, 230-239. [link]
  • Vitak, J., Proferes, N., Shilton, K., & Ashktorab, Z. (2017). Ethics regulation in social computing research: Examining the role of Institutional Review Boards. Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, 12, 372-382. doi:10.1177/1556264617725200  [link]
  • Sebescen, N., & Vitak, J. (2017). Securing the Human: Employee security vulnerability risks in organizational settings. JASIST, 68, 2237–2247. doi:10.1002/asi.23851  [link]
  • Kumar, P. (2017). Corporate Privacy Policy Changes during PRISM and the Rise of Surveillance Capitalism. Media and Communication, 5(1), 63-75. doi: 10.17645/mac.v5i1.813 [pdf]
  • Kumar, P., Prasad, R, & Maréchal, N. (2017). Progress & Peril: The Role of ICT Companies in Promoting and Curtailing Human Rights. In M.G. Villareal (Ed.), Human Rights and Technology: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (pp. 189-214). San Jose, Costa Rica: United Nations University for Peace. [pdf]
  • Vitak, J., Shilton, K., & Ashktorab, Z. (2016). Beyond the Belmont Principles: Ethical Challenges, Practices, and Beliefs in the Online Data Research Community. In Proceedings of the 19th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing. New York: ACM. [pdf]
  • Kumar, P. (2016). “Privacy Policies and Their Lack of Clear Disclosure Regarding the Life Cycle of User Information.” In Technical Report FS-16: AAAI Fall Symposium Series on Privacy and Language Technologies. Arlington, Virginia. November 17-19, 2016. [pdf]
  • Vitak, J., Blasiola, S., Patil, S., & Litt, E. (2015). Balancing audience and privacy tensions on social network sites. International Journal of Communication, 9, 1485-1504. doi: 1932–8036/20150005 [link]
  • Vitak, J., & Kim, J. (2014). “You can’t block people offline”: Examining how Facebook’s affordances shape users’ disclosure process. In Proceedings of the 17th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing. New York: ACM. [pdf]
  • Subramaniam, M., Valdivia, C., Pellicone, A. & Neigh, Z. (2014). Teach me and trust me: Creating an empowered online community of tweens and parents. Proceedings of the 2014 iConference, 244-258. [Full paper]
  • Vitak, J., & Ellison, N. (2013). “There’s a network out there you might as well tap”: Exploring the benefits of and barriers to exchanging informational and support-based resources on Facebook. New Media & Society, 15, 243-259. [link][pdf]
  • Vitak, J. (2012). The impact of context collapse and privacy on social network site disclosures. Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, 56(4), 451-470. doi: 10.1080/08838151.2012.732140 [link] [pdf]
  • Stutzman, F., Vitak, J., Ellison, N., Gray, R., & Lampe, C. (2012). Privacy in interaction: Exploring disclosure and social capital in Facebook. In Proceedings of the 6th annual International Conference on Weblogs and Social Media (ICWSM). Washington, DC: Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.[20% acceptance rate] [Top Paper Candidate] [pdf]
  • Vitak, J., Lampe, C., Ellison, N., & Gray, R. (2012). “Why won’t you be my Facebook Friend?”: Strategies for dealing with context collapse in the workplace. In Proceedings of the 7th Annual iConference (pp. 555-557)New York: ACM. doi: 10.1145/2132176.2132286 [pdf]
  • Ellison, N., Vitak, J., Steinfield, C., Gray, R., & Lampe, C. (2011). Negotiating privacy concerns and social capital needs in a social media environment. In S. Trepte & L. Reinecke (Eds.), Privacy online: Perspectives on privacy and self-disclosure in the social web (pp. 19-32). New York: Springer. [link] [pdf]
  • News

    July 2021: Vitak (along with Sarah Gilbert and Katie Shilton) published “Measuring Americans’ Comfort With Research Uses of Their Social Media Data” in the journal Social Media + Society.

    June 2021: Vitak and Zimmer had an extended abstract summarizing their workplace surveillance & COVID-19 work accepted to AoIR 2021.

    October 2020: Vitak and Zimmer published a study in First Monday on privacy concerns associated with the adoption of contact tracing apps.

    August 2020: Vitak & Zimmer were awarded a Rapid Response grant from SSRC to study how workplace surveillance is evolving due to COVID-19.

    January 2020: Vitak, Clegg, and Chetty were awarded a NSF Small grant for their work on developing privacy & security curriculum for elementary school children.

    May 2019: PhD student Kumar presented research from our kids’ safety project at CHI. The paper discusses how educators consider privacy and security when using digital technologies in the classroom. More info is here.

    March 2019: We won the Lee Dirks Award for Best Full Paper at the iConference! PhD student Liao was the lead author on the paper presenting survey results from our IPA study.