The ubiquity of digital technology has ushered in an era of profound surveillance. We are all routinely tracked, analyzed, and targeted without our knowledge or consent by companies, large and small, that profit from the new data economy.
This website is dedicated to discussion of current events and academic research surrounding digital privacy.
About the Author⌗
Christo Wilson is an Associate Professor in the Khoury College of Computer Sciences at Northeastern University. He is a founding member of the Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute at Northeastern, and serves as director of the BS in Cybersecurity program.
Christo’s academic research broadly focuses on online security and privacy, with two specific areas that are relevant to this website:
- Christo is a pioneer in the field of algorithm auditing, which seeks to use rigorous, empirical methods to analyze the socio-technical systems that pervade our daily life. The ultimate goal of algorithm auditing is to increase the transparency of these systems, identify problems, and force the system designers to be more accountable. Christo’s past audits have examined systems like Google Search, Google Maps, Uber, Amazon, resume search engines like Monster and Indeed, gig-economy marketplaces like TaskRabbit, and e-commerce websites.
- Christo is an expert in online tracking and advertising systems, with a specific focus on the web. His research has examined the data sharing relationships between trackers, differences between tracking in apps and websites, the shadiness of content recommendation companies like Outbrain and Taboola, shady methods advertisers use to circumvent ad blockers, the ineffectiveness of many online privacy tools, whether trackers can reliably infer people’s interests](https://cbw.sh/static/pdf/bashir-2019-ndss.pdf) (tl;dr, not really), and emerging transparency standards in the online advertising ecosystem.
Christo’s research is supported by the National Science Foundation, a Sloan Fellowship, the Mozilla Foundation, the Knight Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, the Democracy Fund, the Data Transparency Lab, the European Commission, Google, and Verisign Labs. All views expressed on this website are those of the respective authors, and do not reflect the views of any funders or Northeastern University.