Muhammad Ahmad Bashir (Northeastern University), Umar Farooq (LUMS Pakistan), Maryam Shahid (LUMS Pakistan), Muhammad Fareed Zaffar (LUMS Pakistan), Christo Wilson (Northeastern University)

Widely reported privacy issues concerning major online advertising platforms (e.g., Facebook) have heightened concerns among users about the data that is collected about them. However, while we have a comprehensive understanding who collects data on users, as well as how tracking is implemented, there is still a significant gap in our understanding: what information do advertisers actually infer about users, and is this information accurate?

In this study, we leverage Ad Preference Managers (APMs) as a lens through which to address this gap. APMs are transparency tools offered by some advertising platforms that allow users to see the interest profiles that are constructed about them. We recruited 220 participants to install an IRB approved browser extension that collected their interest profiles from four APMs (Google, Facebook, Oracle BlueKai, and Neilsen eXelate), as well as behavioral and survey data. We use this data to analyze the size and correctness of interest profiles, compare their composition across the four platforms, and investigate the origins of the data underlying these profiles.

View More Papers

Balancing Image Privacy and Usability with Thumbnail-Preserving Encryption

Kimia Tajik (Oregon State University), Akshith Gunasekaran (Oregon State University), Rhea Dutta (Cornell University), Brandon Ellis (Oregon State University), Rakesh B. Bobba (Oregon State University), Mike Rosulek (Oregon State University), Charles V. Wright (Portland State University), Wu-Chi Feng (Portland State University)

Read More

YODA: Enabling computationally intensive contracts on blockchains with Byzantine...

Sourav Das (Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi), Vinay Joseph Ribeiro (Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi), Abhijeet Anand (Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi)

Read More

Cracking the Wall of Confinement: Understanding and Analyzing Malicious...

Eihal Alowaisheq (Indiana University, King Saud University), Peng Wang (Indiana University), Sumayah Alrwais (King Saud University), Xiaojing Liao (Indiana University), XiaoFeng Wang (Indiana University), Tasneem Alowaisheq (Indiana University, King Saud University), Xianghang Mi (Indiana University), Siyuan Tang (Indiana University), Baojun Liu (Tsinghua University)

Read More

maTLS: How to Make TLS middlebox-aware?

Hyunwoo Lee (Seoul National University), Zach Smith (University of Luxembourg), Junghwan Lim (Seoul National University), Gyeongjae Choi (Seoul National University), Selin Chun (Seoul National University), Taejoong Chung (Rochester Institute of Technology), Ted "Taekyoung" Kwon (Seoul National University)

Read More