Marshini Chetty — Imagine All The People On A Trustworthy Internet
From Tim Trent on April 15th, 2021
Imagine a world where the Internet caters to all types of users and hosts trustworthy content. Right now, this world seems far off for many reasons. For instance, this world would require us to think more broadly of user needs beyond an `average’ tech-savvy adult user—one who is assumed to be always online with a reliable Internet connection. Moreover, this world would require us to host content that is not misleading or manipulative in some way—content that can be evaluated at face value by various users. To achieve this lofty goal, we first need to deeply understand and catalogue different types of Internet users’ needs and also develop ways to assess and make misleading online content more apparent to end-users.
In this talk, I will present a set of case studies from my research lab that helps further the goal of a trustworthy Internet for all. I will describe various projects geared at understanding a wide variety of Internet users’ needs for online privacy and security in different contexts from children to those in developing contexts. I will also describe work that provides empirical evidence of misleading content online such as `dark patterns’ and disguised advertisements and create solutions to help users to better evaluate this content. These case studies will demonstrate how important it is to study the privacy and security needs of those who do not fit the “average” user mold and demonstrate possible solutions for helping users gain more trust in information on the Internet. I conclude with open questions for imagining an Internet which is more trustworthy and inclusive to all people.