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Systems Seminar - CSE

Context Awareness without Privacy Destruction

Maria Ebling

User attention is the key bottleneck in computing today.
Context-aware computing is a promising approach for helping to alleviate
this bottleneck. The goal of context awareness is to make computing more
sensitive to the activities and goals of users. If successful, context
awareness can reduce the need for human attention and can suggest
appropriate times for user interaction when attention is required. Context
sensitivity has significant implications on user privacy however.
Satisfying the varied privacy sensitivities of individuals, while exposing
context data to authorized applications and individuals, remains a major
challenge. In this talk, I will define context-aware computing, present
some of the recent work my group has done, and talk about our approach to
overcoming the privacy challenge posed by this technology.

Maria Ebling is a research staff member at the IBM T. J. Watson
Research Center, where she manages the Privacy-Enabled Context
Technologies Department. Her group builds middleware to support
context-sensitive computing with a focus on user privacy concerns. She
received a B.S. from Harvey Mudd College and an M.S. and a Ph.D. in
computer science from Carnegie Mellon University. Her interests are in
distributed systems supporting mobile and pervasive computing, privacy,
and human-computer interaction.

Sponsored by

IBM Watson Research Center