Indirect Content Privacy Surveys: Measuring Privacy Without Asking About It

Posted: June 25th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Google, Privacy, Statistics | No Comments »

Awesome news! My most recent publication: Indirect Content Privacy Surveys: Measuring Privacy Without Asking About It became a featured publication on the Google Research Homepage. For when they take it down I have included screenshots of the homepage (paper is in bottom right hand corner):

and tweet announcing its post:

This is exciting for a couple of reasons. First, recognition by Google is great validation of the importance of the work. Googlers publish tons of papers, and its a great honor to have mine showcased on the front page of the research blog. Second, should I ever want to return to academia, this paper now adds much more academic “street cred.” Finally, a press piece about the article was written by Thomas Claburn (@ThomasClaburn). This is the first time anything I’ve written has ever received any sort of non-academic press coverage. His article can be found here. Thomas did contact me for comment several hours before he sent the article, but my coauthors and I were unable to run things through the necessary PR people.

I’m not really going to comment on his article, because I am no longer at Google, don’t want to take on the role of spokesperson, and technically anything I say on the subject should go through the Google press/PR people. I’ll simply say that understanding your user is key to making ANY good product. Laura, Jessica, and I didn’t write this paper or conduct this research with any specific agenda or to right any wrong. We wanted to understand how users feel about and share their content, so we asked. Interesting patterns in their responses emerged, so we investigated and reported our findings. Thats it.

Though I have a disclaimer in my “about” section, I want to again emphasize that all opinions expressed in this post are strictly my own. In particular, they do not reflect those of any past, present, or future employer, especially Google.