Pamela Wisniewski

Hey, Google and Facebook!

Invited Talks at Google and Facebook

Taking a break from sunny, humid Florida to spend a few days in sunny California. Today, I am going to give a research talk at Google on my work related to Adolescent Online Safety. Here’s the abstract:

User-Centered Design for Adolescent Online Safety: But Who is The “User?”

Dr. Pamela Wisniewski, Assistant Professor at The University of Central Florida

Most online safety tools (i.e., “parental controls”) are designed to meet the needs of parents and young children, ignoring the complex developmental needs of adolescents (ages 13-17) as they transition into adulthood. This makes sense; it is easier to design sociotechnical solutions that monitor and restrict undesirable behavior than it is to build systems that help adolescents youth how to self-regulate their own actions. Similarly, it is also more clear cut to create laws, such as the Childrens’ Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), that protect younger children (ages 13 and under), that together, either result in teens being treated like children or leaving teens to virtually fend for themselves. In my talk, I discuss the status quo of technical solutions for adolescent online safety and propose a paradigm shift towards more teen-centric approaches for keeping adolescents safe online, which includes empowering teens to self-regulate their online behaviors to more effectively manage the risks (e.g., information breaches, cyberbullying, sexual solicitations, and exposure to explicit content) they may encounter online.


Tomorrow, I am going to be at Facebook Headquarters and joined by other researchers from the networked privacy community. Here is the abstract for our panel:

Understanding Individual Differences in Networked Privacy

Panelists: Xinru Page, Pamela Wisniewski, Bart Knijnenburg, and Norah Abokhodair

Networked privacy is a complex concept; it is connected with notions of identity, seclusion and autonomy. Age, gender, education, and culture are only some of the important factors that shape individuals’ online privacy concerns. In addition, privacy goes well beyond what people share via social media and the privacy settings on their profile. It involves nuanced on- and offline management of interpersonal boundaries to prevent unintended sharing, undesired engagement and disruptions. It is also concerned with recovering, if possible, once one’s privacy has been violated. These issues are especially important when we consider diverse populations, including different cultural backgrounds and users and non-users of various age ranges. However, it is difficult to find the optimal balance between offering a standard solution and taking individual differences into account. In this interactive panel discussion, expert networked privacy researchers from academia will discuss how privacy is conceptualized, enacted, and applied in practice and research. They will explain the unique privacy needs and expectations of a wide range of different users. In addition, they will engage with the audience to discuss how we can work together to integrate support for these individual differences into the design of Facebook.

Looking forward to connecting with some talented and like-minded folks!

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