Internet privacy has become a hot topic recently with the radical growth of Online Social Networks (OSN) and attendant publicity about various leakages. For the last several years we have been examining aggregation of user’s information by a steadily decreasing number of entities as unrelated Web sites are browsed. I will present results from several studies on leakage of personally identifiable information (PII) via Online Social Networks and popular non-OSN sites. Linkage of information gleaned from different sources presents a challenging problem to technologists, privacy advocates, government agencies, and the multi-billion dollar online advertising industry. Economics might hold the key in increasing transparency of the largely hidden exchange of data in return for access of so-called free services. I will also talk briefly about doing privacy research at scale.
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