On the show today, we speak to Victor Morel, a Postdoc candidate at the Chalmers University of Technology. His research interest lies in privacy and data protection for IoT, usability, and Human-Computer Interactions. He joins us to discuss his recently published paper on the measurement and lawfulness of cookie paywalls.
Victor started by giving a background into what a cookie paywall is. He spoke about the volume of adoption of the technology. His research sought to analyze the use of cookie paywalls on websites. He explained the testing methodology tested for his analysis and his findings on how much people pay to avoid being tracked.
Victor observed that most activities in the websites’ backend are shielded from the public. He discussed how he investigated these websites despite this challenge. He delved deeper into the entire process of gathering the data for his analysis. He also questioned the legalities of website targeting activities.
Victor then spoke about the Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF) to communicate users’ consent and aggregate the data for targeted advertising. He discussed the efforts of agencies such as the Belgium Data Protection Agency to audit websites for ad targeting. He further discussed the auditing process and suggested better solutions for effective auditing.
Wrapping up, Victor discussed future opportunities for research in the field. He also highlighted the roadmap for getting into this field. You can follow Victor on Twitter or see more of his works on his website.
Victor Morel holds a PhD in computer science from Inria - Privatics.
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