InfoSec Seminar: Online user tracking and personal data leakage in the big data era

Speaker: Nicolas Kourtellis

Date/Time: 03-Oct-2019, 16:00 UTC

Venue: Roberts G06



In this talk, I will review our recent efforts to study the tracking of online users and leakage of online users' private data on the web via different advertising protocols such as the real-time bidding, cookie synchronization, header bidding and cross-device tracking. Extracted from a large corpus of mobile user web activity and other complementary web crawling, several findings will be presented, including what type of personal data are exposed, entities involved, factors influencing the intensity of leakage, etc. Based on these studies, I will also cover our recent efforts to improve online user awareness for such privacy leakages with practical web tools such as YourAdvalue, HBDetector, and EyeWnder.

Short Bio:

Dr. Nicolas Kourtellis is a Researcher in the Telefonica R&D team, in Barcelona. Previously he was a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Web Mining Research Group at Yahoo Labs, in Barcelona. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of South Florida (2012), a MSc in Computer Science from the University of South Florida (2008), and a BSc in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece (2006). His primary interests lie 1) in the web transparency, user online privacy, leakage of personal data to the online advertising ecosystem and other entities, 2) analysis and characterization of online user behavior, with respect to different dimensions such as: abusive, hateful, aggressive and bullying behavior, fake news propagation, fringe online communities, etc., 3) system design for streaming data analysis and graph mining on distributed streaming processing engines. He has published more than 60 papers, and presented his work in top academic conferences and journals such as IEEE TKDE, IEEE TPDS, IEEE ICDE, ACM KDD, ACM WWW, ACM IMC, ACM/IFIP/USENIX Middleware, etc., as well as industry-oriented conferences such as Apache BigData in Europe and N. America. He has served in many program committees of top conferences and journals (e.g., WWW, KDD, CIKM, ACM TKDD, IEEE TKDE, IEEE TPDS, etc.).

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