CyLab researchers are often called upon by government leaders to provide expertise on security and privacy issues. Below are a few highlight examples of our researchers engaging with policymakers in federal and local governments.
Leadership roles in Washington, D.C.
- In 2016-2017, CyLab director Lorrie Cranor served as Chief Technologist at the Federal Trade Commission.
- In 2008-2010, Jon Peha served as the Chief Technologist of the Federal Communications Commission. Peha also served in the White House as the Assistant Director in the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in 2010-2011, in the House Energy & Commerce Committee, and at USAID where he helped launch and lead a US Government interagency program to assist developing countries with information infrastructure.
- In 2018, Nicolas Christin gave a congressional testimony on cybercrime in a hearing entitled, “After the Breach: The Monetization and Illicit Use of Stolen Data.”
- In 2010, Lorrie Cranor gave a testimony before the United States House of Representatives, Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet, and Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection, Hearing on The Collection and Use of Location Information for Commercial Purposes.
Testimonies and research findings shared at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
- In 2022, four CyLab papers were presented at the FTC's PrivacyCon.
- In 2020, three CyLab papers were presented at the FTC's PrivacyCon.
- In 2019, Lorrie Cranor spoke on a panel, titled Consumer Demand and Expectations of Privacy, at the FTC Hearing #12 on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century: The FTC’s Approach to Consumer.
- In 2019, Ph.D. student Mahmood Sharif presented research about people’s privacy valuations at FTC’s PrivacyCon.
- In 2019, Alessandro Acquisti and Cristobal Cheyre presented their research on browser behavior-tracking at the FTC’s PrivacyCon.
- In 2018, CyLab Ph.D. students Jaspreet Bhatia, Saksham Chitkara, Milijana Surbatovich, and Pardis Emami-Naeini presented research findings at the FTC’s PrivacyCon.
- In 2016, Norman Sadeh’s research group presented three research studies at the FTC’s PrivacyCon:
- To Deny, or Not to Deny: A Personalized Privacy Assistant for Mobile App Permissions
- Towards Usable Privacy Policies: Semi-Automatically Extracting Data Practices from Websites’ Privacy Policies
- In 2016, Alessandro Acquisti presented his group’s research, Who Benefits from Targeted Advertising? at the FTC’s PrivacyCon.
- In 2015, Norman Sadeh was invited to present his group’s research findings to FTC Commissioner Julie Brill and her staff.
- In 2015, Alessandro Acquisti was invited to speak with the Bureau of Economics and the Bureau of Consumer Protection at the FTC.
- In 2015, Jason Hong was invited to present his group’s work on PrivacyGrade and Social Cybersecurity at the FTC.
CyLab research informing policymakers
- In 2022, Lorrie Cranor was invited to speak at the Federal Communications Commission virtual public hearing on broadband consumer labels. CyLab later responded to the FCC's request for comment by conducting a large-scale user study of more than 2,500 participants, uncovering the information most important to consumers shopping for broadband internet service and determining what terminology and presentation formats make this information most understandable and useful.
- In 2022, Yuvraj Agarwal presented CyLab's IoT security and privacy research at the White House’s Internet of Things Security Summit.
- In 2020, researchers in the CyLab Usable Privacy and Security (CUPS) Laboratory designed a privacy icon to accompany the "Do Not Sell My Personal Information" verbiage on websites required by the California Consumer Privacy Act.
- In 2019, Lorrie Cranor’s research on usable and useful privacy interfaces was a leading paper in the DC-based Future of Privacy Forum's (FPF) Privacy Papers for Policy Makers (PPPM).
- In 2015, Lorrie Cranor’s research on effective privacy notices was a leading paper in the FPF’s PPPM.
- In 2012, Lorrie Cranor’s research on online behavior tracking was a leading paper in the FPF’s PPPM.
In 2010, CyLab research papers made up half of the leading papers in the FPF’s PPPM.
Collaborations with state governments
- Following the implementation of the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) in early 2020, the CyLab Usable Privacy and Security (CUPS) Lab conducted a series of studies towards making privacy choices easier for consumers to find and exercise. One study evaluated the California Attorney General (AG) Office’s proposed opt-out button and submitted the report to the California AG.
- In 2016, the California AG’s Office piloted Norman Sadeh’s research group’s Mobile App Privacy Compliance tool.