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NSF Dissertation Improvement Grant

I am pleased to announce that I have been awarded a Science & Society Dissertation Improvement Grant from the Division of Social and Economic Sciences of the National Science Foundation.

This grant will support my dissertation research of the value implications of two emerging technologies of everyday life: networked vehicle systems and web search engines. Networked vehicle systems (GPS-based navigational tools, automated toll collection, automobile black boxes, and vehicle safety communication systems) rely on the transmission, collection and aggregation of a particular vehicle’s location and telemetry data. The drive towards the “perfect” web search engine (providing personalized results and delivering only relevant advertising) depends on the profiling of users’ online activities and interests. Taken together, these technologies represent emerging threats to one’s “privacy on the roads”: on the one hand, networked vehicle systems enable the widespread surveillance of drivers traveling on the public highways, and on the other, a perfect search engine facilitates the monitoring and aggregation of one’s intellectual activities on the information superhighway.

Specifically, this grant will allow me to travel to three specialized research sites that will make theoretical, material, and pragmatic contributions to my project:

I am very excited about this opportunity, which wouldn’t be possible without the guidance of my dissertation chair, Prof. Helen Nissenbaum, and my other committee members, Profs Siva Vaidhyanathan and Alex Galloway.

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Congratulations, Michael! It sounds like a very ambitious project. Now do you think that you’ll make it across our common border without the U.S. travel privacy issues requiring you to sacrifice your personal privacy to study privacy? :)


Congratulations, Michael Zimmer!…

NYU Culture and Communication Ph.D. student Michael Zimmer won an NSF Dissertation Improvement Grant!……

[...] Ann Cavoukian, the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, has released a whitepaper augmenting Kim Cameron’s seven laws of identity with privacy protections: 7 Laws of Identity: The Case for Privacy-Embedded Laws of Identity in the Digital Age (PDF). I’m busy travelling, so I can’t print and read the entire document right now, but here are excerpts form the commission’s press release: The next generation of intelligent and interactive web services (“Web 2.0”) will require more, not fewer, verifiable identity credentials, and much greater mutual trust to succeed. [...]

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