Security is important as we have learned more than ever over the last year. Last week, we wrote about how a National Science Foundation grant had been awarded to develop a better cyberinfrastructure. One of the reasons that the grant award was so critical was the number of security breaches that the United States has endured just this year alone. But security is always important, and ensuring privacy is also critical. Whether it’s on an individual or a collective level, ensuring that people’s private documents are secure is absolutely paramount. This is why grants that help fund projects that focus on security are in the public’s best interest.
A grant award by the National Science Foundation will allow for researchers at Penn State to make the internet safer for users. This project will allow for scientists to study the data practices of online services and find out what they disclose through privacy policies.
How This Grant Will Help
As previously mentioned, this grant will allow scientists to study the data surrounding privacy policies and documents. This will help make the internet safer for users. Additionally, this team will develop large-scale techniques:
- To interpret these materials
- To create tools for research and practical use
- And develop mechanisms for crawling the web to locate and index the documents.
Here’s what Florian Schaub, assistant professor of information in the School of Information at the University of Michigan and principal investigator, said about this grant award:
“This multidisciplinary project will dramatically improve researchers’, practitioners’ and policymakers’ capabilities for analyzing and understanding the state of digital privacy, including the effects of regulation,” Schaub said. “The goal is to create an infrastructure and tools that researchers can readily use rather than having to build up their own data collection and analysis pipelines from scratch, as is currently the status quo.”
New Search Engine
This search engine that will be created by the team will be called PrivaSeer. It will use AI and Natural Language Processing to help researchers collect, review and analyze, including:
- Privacy policies
- Terms of service agreements
- Cookie policies
- Privacy bills and laws
- Regulatory guidelines
- Related documents
This search engine will also help offer insights into how these privacy policies and help users to navigate the incredibly complex world of online privacy according to C. Lee Giles, a co-principal investigator and professor at Penn State University.
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