05-436 / 05-836 / 08-534 / 08-734 Usable Privacy and Security
Print your homework out and submit it in person at the start of class (3:00pm) on Thursday, January 30th. Homework will not be accepted after 3:05pm on that day.
- Part 1 (34 points): Write a 3--7 sentence summary and short "highlight" for each of the readings assigned for January 28th and January 30th. Students taking the 12-unit version of this class must also submit a summary and highlight for one of the optional readings from either of those days.
- Part 2 (33 points): For January 28th, you read four papers that all investigated some aspect of privacy in social media. We chose these papers because each used a different method and type of study to explore related research questions. For this part of your homework, pick one research area within usable security and privacy that seems interesting to you. Then, think of separate research studies using each of the following five types of methods that you think would be interesting to conduct in that area:
(1) A diary study (e.g., Zhao et al. from Jan 28th).
(2) A survey (e.g., part of Johnson et al. or Sleeper et al. or Wang et al. from Jan 28th).
(3) Interviews (e.g., part of Wang et al. from Jan 28th).
(4) A usability test (e.g., Leon et al. from Jan 16th).
(5) Collecting data in the field (e.g., Mazurek et al. from Jan 23rd).
For each of those fives types of studies you imagined, write a paragraph that states what research question(s) you would hope to answer using that particular method, gives 3--4 sentences outlining the design of the study, and ends with one sentence explaining why you chose that particular method to investigate your stated research question.
We encourage you to pick any usable privacy and security research area that is interesting to you. Suggested areas include the following: how users avoid (and remove) computer viruses; what role security concerns play in deciding whether to install a smartphone app; what average people think private browsing mode does in their web browser; how average people protect (or do not protect) photos they consider especially private; how parents help teenagers protect their privacy online; what people think about websites tracking their online activities; how average users try to stay anonymous online; users' perceptions of the warnings that pop up when they install a program that they downloaded; users' decision making about revealing personal information online; how people choose passwords for very high-value accounts
- Part 3 (33 points): Four of the six research papers you read this week (Sleeper et al., Johnson et al., Ur et al., and Egelman et al.) presented statistics to support their arguments. As you read through these four papers, note for yourself each time they use statistical tests. Then, create and submit a table that shows how these four authors used different statistical tests. Use the following format for your table, where each row represents an analysis you found in one of the papers:
- Column 1: Which paper? (e.g., Sleeper et al.)
- Column 2: What is the name of the statistical test they used? (e.g., ANOVA)
- Column 3: What is the question they're trying to investigate using statistics? (e.g., Is privacy concern correlated with age?)
- Column 4: What format is their data in? (e.g., survey responses rating agreement on a 7-point Likert scale. They binned these responses into two groups: "agree" and "not agree")
- Column 5: How did they report the results of the test in the paper? (e.g., [χ2=168.07, p<.001]
- Column 6: (If applicable) Do they make any interesting comments about why they chose this test? (e.g., The data are not normally distributed.)
Group the rows of your table based on the type of analysis the statistics are being used to support. It may be easiest to split your table into multiple smaller tables. For example, if one paper uses statistical test Foo to compare Likert-scale survey questions and another paper uses statistical test Foo or statistical test Bar to compare survey questions where the structure of the data or comparison seems similar, group those together.
In addition, write at most one paragraph describing when these authors did not use statistics. These might include times where the data they collected is not appropriate for statistical analysis, times when statistical analysis would probably not add much to the paper's argument, or times they seem not to have used statistics for unclear reasons (but you would have done statistical tests).