[talks] Fwd: MSE talk abstract

Melissa M. Lawson mml at CS.Princeton.EDU
Thu Apr 24 08:34:55 EDT 2014

Christian Eubank will present his MSE thesis talk on Tuesday April 29 at 11AM in Room 301. 
The members of his committee are: Arvind Narayanan, advisor and Ed Felten, reader. 
Everyone is invited to attend his talk. His abstract follows below. 

----- Original Message -----

Web privacy measurement experiments have heavily influenced privacy debates by shedding light into practices such as third party online tracking and price discrimination. However, these research experiments have typically been one-off projects, with different groups encountering similar methodological and engineering challenges without forming an institutional knowledge base. As an illustrative example of this trend of repeating effort through self-contained experiments, we present the results of one study comparing mobile and desktop tracking and discuss how challenges from this study and other works in the literature shaped the formation of general design principles intended to improve the efficiency of such experiments. 

We present a robust and modular web measurement platform that enables scalable and repeatable experiments while avoiding many common pitfalls observed by the research community. We describe case studies performed on this framework, including the detection of unique cookie identifiers, the detection of third-party synchronization of these IDs and an examination into the personalization of the content on news sites based on user history. Finally, we present an online web privacy measurement census that visualizes cookie ID information flows over time using data periodically collected and updated by our infrastructure. 

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