UCLIC Research Seminar Series

UCLIC & Infosec Research Seminar 8 June: Sameer Patil, Privacy? There’s no app for that!
Sameer Patil, University of Utah


UCLIC & Infosec Research Seminar 8 June: Sameer Patil, Privacy? There’s no app for that!

Recording of Talk

A recording of this talk is available on the UCLIC YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/fXRD2TVu9E0


Smartphone apps can often be privacy-invasive. Yet, billions around the world routinely use such apps in their everyday lives despite expressing desires for privacy protection. In this talk, I will present the results of a number of empirical studies in which we have attempted to understand this seeming paradox with qualitative and quantitative approaches covering a variety of usage scenarios, including contract tracing during a public health emergency. In the end, I will tie the insight together by developing the concepts of affective discomfort, hyperbolic scaling, and speculative vulnerability that can help understand why people continue to use seemingly creepy apps.


Sameer Patil is an Associate Professor in the Kahlert School of Computing and co-director of the university-wide Data Science & Ethics of Technology (DATASET) Initiative at the University of Utah. Previously, he has held several appointments in academia and industry, including Vienna University of Economics and Business (Austria), Helsinki Institute for Information Technology (Finland), University of Siegen (Germany), Yahoo Labs (USA), New York University (USA), and Indiana University Bloomington (USA). Sameer's research interests focus on human-centered investigations of cybersecurity, covering the fields of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Computer Supported Collaborative Work (CSCW), and social computing. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Google. He received the NSF CAREER award in 2019. Sameer's work has been published in top-tier conferences and journals, and he holds eight US patents related to mobile technologies. Sameer obtained a Ph.D. in Computer and Information Science from the University of California, Irvine and holds Master's degrees in Information (HCI) and Computer Science & Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.