Call for Applications – Adversarial Design:
Pushing Back on the Internet of Things

Call for Team Participation

Dates: April 5-7, 2017
Times: 5 p.m. 4/5/17 to 4 p.m. 4/7/17
Location: April 5th & 6th -TBA, April 7th -Friend Center Convocation Room, Princeton University

Princeton University’s Center for Information Technology Policy (CITP), in collaboration with the Center for Digital Humanities, is hosting a workshop that explores the security and privacy concerns that arise from Internet-connected devices in smart homes and cities.

We solicit teams of computer scientists, engineers, designers, artists, legal scholars, and social theorists to come together and design systems that can provide users with more visibility into and control over the behavior of the devices that they connect to their networks, ultimately giving people more agency over these devices. Existing efforts to improve IoT privacy and security have begun to explore ways to visualize and control data flows from these devices, but many of these designs could be informed by insights from architects, designers, and sociologists as well as critical theories of design. The workshop plans to bring people together from these diverse knowledge bases to enrich and enhance existing approaches to security and privacy in smart homes and cities.

The designs developed at the workshop may have different goals. For example, in a smart home with multiple inhabitants, participants may develop designs that improve security or privacy in ways that incorporate a variety of living arrangements and user interests. Another design goal might be to allow communities to seamlessly communicate with manufacturers about privacy and security issues that they discover.

We are inviting teams of 3-5 people to come to Princeton University for the workshop. Each team will provide an analysis of a security or privacy concern related to smart homes or cities and develop an intervention to address that concern.

Teams may choose a device (or devices) to work with ahead of time, or make use of a set of devices that will be made available at the workshop. To facilitate prototyping and design, we will provide a Raspberry Pi-based system that inspects traffic on a network and provides users with rudimentary capabilities for visualizing and controlling traffic flows on that network. All teams will be asked to document their activities after the workshop in a short report. Teams may wish to use the workshop as a starting point to participate in the FTC’s “IoT Home Inspector Challenge.”

Potential teams should submit an application that includes:

  • a short statement of interest describing questions and methods you plan to bring to the workshop, as well as a brief description of a possible intervention you would design.
  • a list of team members (3-5 per team), including short biographies of each member.

We encourage teams whose members span a broad range of backgrounds, possibly spanning fields including computer science, design, urban studies, arts, and architecture.

Costs and Travel Support:

There is no registration fee for the workshop. We have limited funds to support three external teams with a budget of up to $1,000, and a total budget of $3,000 to offer honorarium to independent artists and designers that participate in the workshop. If you are in need of funding for participation, we kindly ask you to indicate this in your application with a short justification.

Important Dates:

More About The Workshop:

  • Applications for team participants for the three-day event can be submitted here
  • A separate event webpage will be availabe soon for people who would like to attend the public portion of the workshop on Friday, April 7, 2017. This portion will be held in the Friend Center Convocation Room on the Princeton University campus. A link will be provided for attendees (not participants) to RSVP at a later date.

This workshop is part of the CITP Project Agonistic Algorithms put together by Carl DiSalvo (Georgia Tech), Nick Feamster (Princeton University), Seda Gurses (Princeton University, Leuven), and Janet Vertesi (Princeton University) and is produced in collaboration with the Center for Digital Humanities. The workshop is part of an ongoing effort to explore how theories of agonistic pluralism—which champions a diversity of perspectives, affect, and contestation as foundational to democratic politics—might be brought to bear on computational media and systems design. Adversarial design refers to such practice and, in the context of this workshop, its combination with adversarial modeling in computer science privacy and security research.

For further questions, please email adversarial@princeton.edu