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[WiS Seminar Series]: Detection and understanding of self-privacy violations in online conversations - 29 June 2022

Please note that this event has passed.


User engagement in online public discourse often includes self-disclosure - the revelation of personal information. Such disclosures on online public platforms (e.g. news forums) become a shared history, vulnerable to detrimental use by advertisers and malicious parties. Yet, users engage in self-disclosing behavior to attain strategic goals like relational development, social connectedness, identity clarification, and social control. Professor Anna Squicciarini  will introduce the notion of self-disclosure as a construct to enable or facilitate online conversations and will present a taxonomy of the types of self-disclosure. She will then delve into the privacy implications of revealing personal information in unstructured conversations and on recent advances in automated detection of self-disclosure online. Following on from this, there will be discussion of advanced annotation mechanisms to support detection of self-disclsoure, and discuss the role self-disclosure plays in times of crises. Using a BERT-based supervised learning approach, Anna will share findings related to self-disclosure from a dataset of over 31 million COVID-19 related tweets. Anna will map users' self-disclosure patterns, characterize personal revelations, and examine users' disclosures within evolving reply networks. She will uncover self-disclosure patterns in users' interaction networks as they seek social connectedness and focused conversations during the pandemic. Finally, Anna will conclude with open-ended challenges and discuss how to operationalize mechanisms to limit privacy violations due to self-disclosure.


Professor Anna Squicciarini is the Frymoyer Chair in Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State College of Information Sciences and Technology. Her main research interests include data privacy, access control and system security. Currently, she is exploring security issues in the context of social networks with emphasis on users’ privacy and online deviance. Anna is the author of more than sixty conference papers and journal articles. Her published research has been honored with best paper awards at technical conferences. She is the recipient of a Google Faculty Research Award. Her research is currently supported by research awards from funding agencies and industrial support, including an NSF CAREER Award.

How to join

Please register for the seminar in advance. This is due to limited room capacity.

The event will be in person and, after the talk, a light lunch will be provided, which will be an excellent opportunity for networking for existing, new, and prospective members of the Centre and anyone with an interest in cybersecurity.

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