“Security and Privacy in the Internet of Things”

Posted on Thursday 12 February 2009

Oliver Guenther, Dean of the School of Business and Economics and Director of the Institute of Information Systems at Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin, delivered a lecture on Wednesday, February 4, as part of the iSchool’s Distinguished lecture series, sponsored by the UC Berkeley School of Information. You may download the file (mp3, 34.2 MB, 1hr14min) or listen here:



The much touted “Internet of Things” requires a global IT infrastructure providing information about “things” in a secure and reliable manner. The EPCglobal Network is a popular industry proposal for such an IT infrastructure. Here, the “things” referred to are physical objects carrying RFID tags with a unique Electronic Product Code (EPC). A DNS-based Object Naming Service (ONS) locates the information sources relevant for a given object. In this talk, we show that EPCglobal’s current design harbors some serious privacy and security risks. We also discuss some counter-measures and their effectiveness. In particular, we show how distributed hash tables (DHTs) can be used to improve data access control to reduce dependencies on individual root name servers, and to increase privacy. The strength of privacy protection, however, depends on the availability of secure out-of-band key distribution mechanisms.


Oliver Guenther is Dean of the School of Business and Economics at Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin. He also directs Humboldt’s Institute of Information Systems and its Interdisciplinary Center on Ubiquitous Information. Guenther has also taught at the European School of Management and Technology, Tsinghua University in Beijing, the École Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications in Paris, the University of California at Berkeley and Santa Barbara, and the University of Cape Town. He served as a consultant and board member to numerous government agencies and high-tech companies. Guenther is currently on sabbatical at ICSI and at SAP Research in Palo Alto, performing research on topics such as Web 2.0-ERP integration, RFID architectures, and security and privacy in ubiquitous computing.

Noah @ 7:42 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
Grudin: “Enterprise Uses of Emerging Technologies”

Posted on Tuesday 7 October 2008

Jonathan Grudin, Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, delivered a lecture on his research into enterprise uses of emerging technology on Wednesday, October 1, as part of the iSchool’s Distinguished lecture series, co-sponsored by the UC Berkeley School of Information, the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS), and the UC Services Science, Management, and Engineering Program. You may download the file (mp3, 43.1 MB, 1hr02min) or listen here:



Uses of novel digital technologies often start with students and are eventually adopted, initially reluctantly, by enterprises. For the past six years much of Grudin’s research has focused on early enterprise adoption of communication technologies including instant messaging, weblogs, wikis, and social networking software such as Facebook and LinkedIn. The first half of this presentation will outline a handful of patterns that emerged in Grudin’s 20 years of studying technology adoption. Grudin will follow with an overview of enterprise uses of emerging technologies, with some speculation as to where it may be heading.


Jonathan Grudin is a Principal Researcher in Microsoft’s Adaptive Systems and Interaction Group. Prior to joining MSR in 1998, he was Professor of Information and Computer Science at UC Irvine. After obtaining degrees in physics and mathematics, he worked as a software developer before earning a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology with Don Norman at UCSD. After returning to industry, he participated in CHI and CSCW from the outset. He has worked and taught in England, Denmark, Japan, and Norway. He was editor of ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction from 1997-2003 and is currently ACM Computing Surveys Associate Editor for Human-Computer Interaction.
Noah @ 7:19 pm
Filed under: Podcasts
Francesco Antinucci on New Media in Museums

Posted on Tuesday 30 September 2008

Francesco Antinucci gave a special lecture entitled, “Communicating Cultural Heritage: The Role of New Media” at the School of Information Wednesday, September 24. You can find the audio here.


Large museums try to make extensive use of new media to communicate with their public, but with only limited success. Apart from providing practical information about hours, locations, and shows, museum websites chiefly serve the needs of experts, and do little to prepare ordinary museum-goers for their visits. In this talk, I will report on research done in collaboration with the Roman Forum, the Galleria Borghese, and the Palazzo Barbarini in Rome and the archaeological site of Pompei, and in particular on a study of visitors to the Vatican Museums.


Francesco Antinucci is Director of Research at the Institute of Cognitive Science and Technology of the National Research Council (CNR) of Italy. His research interests have been centered on perception, reasoning, and learning: their development in infancy and their evolution in phylogeny and primate psychology. In recent years his research has centered on the interaction between cognitive processes and the new interactive technologies of multimedia, digital networking, and virtual reality, and particularly in the use of technology to communicate cultural heritage in museums and archaeological sites.

Noah @ 11:28 am
Filed under: Podcasts
Nissenbaum: “Privacy in Context”

Posted on Thursday 3 April 2008

Helen at the front of 202 South Hall with the crowd in front of her

NYU’s Helen Nissenbaum gave a lecture entitled, “Privacy in Context” at the School of Information yesterday as the last Distinguished Lecture of the semester. You can find audio of her talk here and photos here.


Contemporary practices of gathering, analyzing, and disseminating personal information have placed impossible demands on the concept of privacy. The weight of these demands, in turn, is reflected in norms, laws, policies, and technical requirements that frequently seem to miss the mark, failing to negotiate a reasonable course between unbridled opportunism, on the one hand, and suspicious intransigence, on the other. This talk will present key elements in the theory of contextual integrity, which builds upon structural aspects of social life to enrich our understanding of privacy and its importance as a moral and political value. Allowing context-relative social norms and context-based social values into the scope of analysis enables nuance and subtle discrimination, often missing in other dominant approaches, in modeling and theorizing privacy as well as adjudicating and justifying particular privacy claims.


Helen Nissenbaum is Professor of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University, where she is also a Faculty Fellow of the Information Law Institute. Grants from the National Science Foundation, Ford Foundation, and U.S. Department of Homeland Security have supported her research on privacy, trust online, security, intellectual property, and several projects investigating moral and political values embodied in computer and information systems, notably, search engines, video games, and facial recognition systems. She has produced three books, Emotion and Focus, Computers, Ethics and Social Values (co-edited with D.J. Johnson), and Academy and the Internet (co-edited with Monroe Prince), and co-founded the journal Ethics and Information Technology. Before joining the faculty at NYU, Nissenbaum served as Associate Director of Princeton University’s Center for Human Values and has held fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton and the Center for the Study of Language and Information at Stanford University. She earned a B.A. (Honors) from the University of Witwatersand, Johannesburg, and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Stanford.

@ 3:02 pm
Filed under: Podcasts
Paul Duguid and Andrew Keen Debate

Posted on Thursday 20 March 2008

photo of Paul Duguid, Geoff Nunberg (moderator) and Andrew Keen debating at a table

Today, the UC Berkeley School of Information hosted, as part of its distinguished lecture series, a debate between Andrew Keen and Paul Duguid, moderated by Geoff Nunberg (the event was co-sponsored by the Berkeley Center for New Media, Mass Communications at UC Berkeley, and the UC Berkeley Library).

The turnout was spectacular and the debate lively. Here is the audio of the debate (48MB mp3) and here are a number of photos.

(below is the abstract and bios from the lecture announcement)

Is the Web a Threat to Our Culture?

Abstract: When Time Magazine named “YOU” as their 2006 Person of the Year, it highlighted what has been deemed the democratization of the media. The term “Web 2.0” was coined to describe this transformation on the internet, where individual volunteers, not institutions, control its content. But many people share doubts about the hype around Web 2.0 and have different ideas about what’s significant, what’s trivial, and what’s irrelevant. Protagonists, such as Andrew Keen, believe that it is not only significant, but is significant enough to threaten “our economy, our culture, and our values.”

Please join UC Berkeley Adjunct Professor Paul Duguid and Andrew Keen in a debate about whether Web 2.0 is truly a threat to our culture. Adjunct Professor Geoffrey Nunberg will moderate the debate.


Andrew Keen is a Silicon Valley author, broadcaster and entrepreneur whose provocative book Cult of the Amateur: How the Internet is killing our culture was recently acclaimed by The New York Times’ Michiko Kakutani as “shrewdly argued” and written “with acuity and passion”. Andrew is a prominent media personality who has appeared on the “Colbert Report”, “McNeil-Lehrer Newsnight” show, “The Today Show”, “Fox News”, “CNN International”, “NPR’s Weekend Edition”, “BBC Newsnight” and many other television and radio shows in America and overseas. He has written for The Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, the London Guardian, The San Francisco Chronicle, Forbes, The Weekly Standard, Fast Company and Entertainment Weekly and has been featured in numerous publications including Time Magazine, The New York Times, US News and World Report, BusinessWeek, Wired, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Sunday Times, the Independent and MSNBC. Andrew is also a pioneering Silicon Valley media entrepreneur, having founded Audiocafe.com in 1995 and built it into a well known first generation Internet music company. Educated at the universities of London and California, Andrew now lives in Berkeley, California with his wife and two children.

Paul Duguid is an adjunct professor at the UC Berkeley School of Information; a professorial research fellow at Queen Mary, University of London; and an honorary fellow of the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development at Lancaster University School of Management. At Berkeley, he co-teaches the “Quality of Information” and the “History of Information”, and his current research interests include the history and development of trademarks and a three-year archival research project funded by the ESRC of the UK and administered through Queen Mary, University of London. Throughout the 1990’s, he worked at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, and his book The Social Life of Information, co-written with John Seely Brown, is a reflection on the digital bombast of that era.

Geoffrey Nunberg (moderator) is an adjunct professor at the UC Berkeley School of Information; a researcher at the Center for the Study of Language and Information at Stanford University; and a consulting professor in the Stanford Department of Linguistics. He serves as chair of the usage panel of the American Heritage Dictionary, contributes a feature on language on the NPR show “Fresh Air”, and has written numerous commentaries on language for the Sunday New York Times Week in Review and other periodicals. His linguistics research includes work in semantics, pragmatics, text classification, and written-language structure; he also studies the social and cultural implications of digital technologies.

@ 12:47 am
Filed under: Podcasts