Speaker: Damon McCoy (New York University)
Title: Misinformation, Harassment, and Violence through a Cybersecurity and Privacy Lens
The seminar will be available for in-person and Zoom participation. If you would like to receive the Zoom link, please register using the “Register” button above.
Technology companies play a central role in mediating online discourse and monitoring people's actions. Unfortunately, these products are spreading misinformation, harassment, and enabling violence. Currently, technology companies have struggled to mitigate these problems. In this talk, I will discuss how we use robust cybersecurity, data science, and independent data collection techniques to better understand these issues. I will show how this approach can illuminate the systemic incentives and design choices that likely contribute to unsafe technology products that are vulnerable to attacks. In addition, I will show how we can leverage those insights to design safer technology systems and improve resources for those targeted by these attacks. In cases where companies' interests are not aligned with their users, effecting changes that result in safer technology products often requires independent data collection and engaging with civil society, journalists, regulators, and policymakers.
Damon McCoy (he/she) is an Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at New York University's Tandon School of Engineering and the co-director of Cyber Security for Democracy. Her research focuses on empirically understanding the security and privacy of technology systems and their intersection with society. In particular, he investigates problems through the lens of cybersecurity and privacy, such as hate, harassment, misinformation, and violence, that are more traditionally explored by social scientists. She is normally a down to earth person and only talks about herself in the third person when requested.