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Aleksandra Korolova – Aligning the Web Ecosystem with Societal Values via Measurements, Definitions and Algorithms

Tuesday, February 25, 2020
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm


105 Computer Science
Photo of Sasha Korolova

This talk is being co-sponsored by CITP and the Department of Computer Science.

The web ecosystem relies on data- and algorithms- driven innovation and monetization. In this talk, the challenges and opportunities for aligning these practices with societal values such as privacy and fairness will be explored.

Our work in applying differential privacy for development of data-driven product features without requiring raw data collection from users will be described. Our work will then be presented on systematically identifying new societal concerns posed by current implementations of targeted advertising systems such as: privacy violations, manipulation of the vulnerable, discrimination, and creation of informational filter bubbles. The talk will conclude by discussing how such measurements, combined with definitions and algorithms, particularly from the fields of differential privacy and algorithmic fairness, can provide a language for reasoning about trade-offs between utility, privacy, and fairness, and give solution approaches to both computer scientists and policy makers.


Aleksandra Korolova is a WiSE Gabilan Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southern California (USC), where she researches algorithms and technologies that enable data-driven innovations while preserving privacy and fairness. Prior to joining USC, Aleksandra was a research scientist at Google. Aleksandra received her Ph.D. in computer science from Stanford University. Her Ph.D. thesis, which focused on protecting privacy when mining and sharing user data, has been recognized by the Arthur L. Samuel Thesis Award 2011-2012, for the best Ph.D. thesis in the Computer Science Department at Stanford University. Aleksandra is also a co-winner of the 2011 PET Award for outstanding research in privacy enhancing technologies for exposing privacy violations of microtargeted advertising and a runner-up for the 2015 PET Award for RAPPOR, the first commercial deployment of differential privacy. Aleksandra’s most recent work, on discrimination in ad delivery, has received CSCW Honorable Mention Award and Recognition of Contribution to Diversity and Inclusion, was cited in Facebook’s Civil Rights Audit Report, and invited for a briefing for Members of the House Financial Services Committee.

*Please note, this event is only open to the Princeton University community.

Lunch for talk attendees will be available at noon.

To request accommodations for a disability, please contact Emily Lawrence, , 609-258-4624 at least one week prior to the event.