How Carnegie Mellon University can Help you Control your Privacy


With the advent of the internet age, controlling your personal data rapidly became impractical without cutting both internet and mobile cords. As internet of things (IoT) and big data technologies proliferate, the ways your data can be collected and processed are expanding even more quickly. And that, potentially, puts users, government and business on a collision course where privacy is concerned.

Getting your arms around privacy in the digital age is no simple feat. One of the key issues is the ubiquitous privacy policy on websites, says Norman Sadeh, professor in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), director of CMU’s Mobile Commerce Lab, founder and chairman of Wombat Security Technologies and formerly chief scientist of the European Union’s initiative in ecommerce. Sadeh is also co-director of CMU’s Master’s program on privacy engineering, which focuses on engineering new technology products with privacy considerations baked in from the beginning, reflecting the tradeoffs between functionality and privacy.

“Website privacy policies have become a de facto standard to address expectations of “notice and choice” on the Web,” Sadeh says. “The idea is that users should be able to obtain information about the practices of websites they visit, and be able to make meaningful decisions on that basis. In practice, however, users are known to never read privacy policies.”

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