|Course||CSC 533 - Privacy in the Digital Age, Fall 2021|
|Meeting Times||Tu/Th 11:45 AM - 1:00 PM|
|Meeting Place||1230 EB2|
|TA Office Hours|| Zhouyu Li (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Monday: 4-5 pm, Zoom
Wednesday: 10-11 am, Zoom
|Class Forum||Class discussion will take place on Piazza|
|Assignment Submission||Assignments submitted via Moodle|
|Recorded Video Lecture||Videos will be uploaded after each lecture on Panopto|
You can find the class schedule and all slides from the lectures here. We will use Piazza for our online communication. Also, video recording of class lectures will be available through Moodle.
Prerequisites: CSC 316 (ST 370 is recommended)
Informal: You need to have some understanding on (1) basic concepts on statistics and probability and (2) basics of systems implementation (e.g., web, distributed systems, networking, etc.). If you do not have a basic understanding of these areas, you may have difficulty with certain parts of the course. If you have questions regarding these prerequisites, please contact the instructor.
Privacy is a growing concern in our modern society. We interact and share our personal information with a wide variety of organizations, including financial and healthcare institutions, web service providers and social networks. Many times such personal information is inappropriately collected, used or shared, often without our awareness. This course introduces privacy in a broad sense to provide students an overview of the challenging and emerging research topics in privacy.
This course will expose students to many of the issues that privacy engineers, program managers, researchers and designers deal with in the industry. By the end of the course, students will learn about the following areas in privacy:
- Data privacy: the motivations for data privacy and common implementations (e.g., k-anonymity, differential privacy).
- Online privacy: online tracking and anonymous communication systems.
- Opportunities and implications of using AI/ML in privacy.
- Side-channel threats: Emerging side-channel attacks.
- Privacy acts: privacy regulations, frameworks and compliance/auditing tools.
- Usable privacy: perceptions of privacy, privacy attitudes, privacy preferences.
Textbooks and Reading Material
This course has no formal textbook. The course readings will come from online book chapters, seminal papers, and other informative sources. Slides will serve as the main reading resource summarizing the lecture content.
Here are some useful online books that provide additional information:
- Carmela Troncoso Privacy and Online Rights
- Lazar et al. Research Methods in Human-Computer Interaction
- Daniel Solove. Understanding Privacy
- Daniel J. Solove and Paul M. Schwartz. Consumer Privacy and Data Protection
- Helen Nissenbaum. Privacy in Context
Student Learning Outcomes
By the end of this course, students will be able to:
- Distinguish personally identifiable information (PII) in databases
- Apply techniques to anonymize and protect PII in databases
- Differentiate between various online tracking mechanisms and their mitigation techniques
- Explain how anonymous communication networks work and how they help users preserve their online anonymity
- Evaluate the opportunities and implications of using AI/ML in privacy
- Distinguish various side-channel leaks
- Analyze privacy regulations and frameworks
- Compare and contrast users' attitudes and perceptions of privacy
- Design and evaluate usable privacy notices
Following software will be required/used for the course.
- Moodle and Wolfware
Course Structure and Grading
The course will consist of exams, home assignments (worst graded one will be dropped) and a course project.
The final letter grade will be based on the final percentage as follows:
|A+||96 - 100%|
|A||92 - 95%|
|A-||88 - 91%|
|B+||84 - 87%|
|B||80 - 83%|
|B-||76 - 79%|
|C+||72 - 75%|
|C||68 - 71%|
|C-||64 - 67%|
|D+||60 - 63%|
|D||56 - 59%|
|D-||52 - 55%|
|F||0 - 51%|
REG 02.50.03 (Grades and Grade Point Average) describes the grade point interpretation of letter grades.
The instructor will assign homework on a periodic basis for topics associated with the class syllabus. These homework assignme require the students to write, program, or perform other basic research. The content and due dates of these assignments will be decided over the course of the semester (usually giving around 2 weeks per assignment). If you cannot attend a lecture, contact fellow students to see if any assignments have been published or revisit the course schedule page Schedule. The lowest graded assignment will be dropped. Assignments will posted and collected through Moodle.
Exams will be scheduled covering topics until the exam date. The exam will last around one to two hours. Question format will be discussed in class. The exact date of the exam will be provided in the Schedule.
The class project will require students to conduct research related to the course material. Students will work in groups of two or three depending on the scope of the project. Students are encouraged to propose their own projects. The main objective of the project is to provide students with hands-on experience with real-world privacy problems. Some projects will involve analyzing user data, while others may involve developing a system to collect and analyze real-world system data. High quality works will potentially lead to conference/workshop papers. Students will be expected to submit a project report (8-10 pages) before the end of the semester.
Policies on Incomplete Grades
If an extended deadline is not authorized by the instructor or department, an unfinished incomplete grade will automatically change to an 'F' after either (a) the end of the next regular semester in which the student is enrolled (not including summer sessions), or (b) the end of 12 months if the student is not enrolled, whichever is shorter. Incompletes that change to 'F' will count as an attempted course on transcripts. The burden of fulfilling an incomplete grade is the responsibility of the student. The university policy on incomplete grades is located at http://policies.ncsu.edu/regulation/reg-02-50-3.
Weekly Course Schedule
See the course schedule. Note that the schedule is subject to change as the semester evolves.
No late assignments will be accepted. Students with legitimate reasons who contact the professor before the deadline may apply for an extension.
No re-grading requests will be honored after one weeks of releasing the grade for any assignment/report/project. If you see any issues with the grading, please contact the instructor within one weeks of releasing the grade.
Announcements and online class discussion will occur via Piazza. It is the responsibility of the student to sign up for an account. Questions to the instructor or TA should occur in Piazza unless there is a reason not to. The instructor or the TA will do their best to respond to questions in Piazza within 24 hours. When appropriate, make the question viewable to everyone so that the answer can benefit all students. For sensitive matters (e.g., grading), email the instructor and/or TA. Whenever emailing the TA about grading concerns, please CC the instructor.
Students should be aware that their behavior impacts other people, even online. I hope that we will all strive to develop a positive and supportive environment and will be courteous to fellow students and your instructor. Due to the nature of the online environment, there are some things to remember when taking an online course and engaging with others.Tips for Success:
- Do: Follow the same standards of behavior that you subscribe to offline. Keep in mind that all online communication is documented and therefore permanent.
- Don't: Flame others in discussion forums. Flaming is the act of responding in a highly critical, sarcastic, or ridiculing manner – especially if done on a personal level. Remember that these discussions are meant for constructive exchanges and learning!
- Do: Ensure you are responding to forums by the due date, in order to leave time for peers to comment on your response.
- Don't: Go for long periods of time without communicating to your instructors or classmates. It is important to stay a part of the online community!
- Do: Remember to read over your posts before selecting "Submit."
- Don't: Use slang, poor grammar, and other informal language in discussion forums or email messages to instructors or classmates.
Video Recording Policy
The class lectures will be recorded to be viewed by students who are unable to attend, including Distance Education (DE) students. By taking this course, you agree for your video and audio to be recorded and shared with other students taking this course this semester. However, student faces will not be intentionally captured rather audio stream will be captured during class discussions.
Electronically-Hosted Course Components
Students may be required to disclose personally identifiable information to other students in the course. Examples include online discussions of class topics on Piazza. All students are expected to respect the privacy of each other by not sharing or using such information outside the course.
The instructor will not take any formal attendance for class meetings. Students can asynchronously view class lecture videos offline due to health concerns arising from the novel coronavirus or other legitimate concerns.
The university policy on excused absences will be observed (see http://policies.ncsu.edu/regulation/reg-02-20-03). The students are responsible for discussing makeup exams if they miss exams due to excused absence. The instructor will choose a mutually agreed date and time for the makeup exam. Late submission of homework assignments due to excused absences is not subject to the policies on late assignments.
Academic Integrity Policy
The university, college, and department policies against academic dishonesty will be strictly enforced. You may obtain copies of the NCSU Code of Student Conduct from the Office of Student Conduct, or from the following URL: http://policies.ncsu.edu/policy/pol-11-35-01.
The instructor expects honesty in the completion of test and assignments. The instructor has a zero-tolerance policy for violations of academic integrity. The instructor carefully monitors for instances of offenses such as plagiarism and illegal collaboration, so it is very important that students use their best possible judgement in meeting this policy. The instructor will not entertain any discussion on the discovery of an offense, and will assign the 'F' grade and refer the student to the appropriate University bodies for possible further action. It is the understanding and expectation of the instructor that the student's signature on any test or assignment means that the student neither gave nor received unauthorized aid. For additional information, visit http://studentconduct.ncsu.edu/
Note that students are explicitly forbidden to copy anything off the Internet (e.g., source code, text) for the purposes of completing an assignment or the final project. Also, students are forbidden from collaborating on any assignment except were explicitly allowed in writing by the instructor.
See http://policies.ncsu.edu/policy/pol-11-35-01 for a detailed explanation of academic honesty.
This course considers topics involving personal and public privacy and security. As part of this investigation we will cover technologies whose abuse may infringe on the rights of others. As an instructor, I rely on the ethical use of these technologies. Unethical use may include circumvention of existing security or privacy measurements for any purpose, or the dissemination, promotion, or exploitation of vulnerabilities of these services. Exceptions to these guidelines may occur in the process of reporting vulnerabilities through public and authoritative channels. Any activity outside the letter or spirit of these guidelines will be reported to the proper authorities and may result in dismissal from the class. Please refer to the ACM code of ethics and professional conduct for more details.
When in doubt, please contact the course professor for advice. Do not undertake any action which could be perceived as technology misuse anywhere and/or under any circumstances unless you have received explicit permission from the instructor.
Statement on transportation
Students have to provide their own transportation for any and all class related trips.
Statement on safety and risk assumption
This course does not require activities that pose physical risk to students.
Accommodations for Disabilities
Reasonable accommodations will be made for students with verifiable disabilities. In order to take advantage of available accommodations, students must register with Disability Services for Students at 1900 Student Health Center, Campus Box 7509, 919-515-7653. For more information on NC State's policy on working with students with disabilities, please see the Academic Accommodations for Students with Disabilities Regulation (REG 02.20.01).
NC State University provides equality of opportunity in education and employment for all students and employees. Accordingly, NC State affirms its commitment to maintain a work environment for all employees and an academic environment for all students that is free from all forms of discrimination. Discrimination based on race, color, religion, creed, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or sexual orientation is a violation of state and federal law and/or NC State University policy and will not be tolerated. Harassment of any person (either in the form of quid pro quo or creation of a hostile environment) based on race, color, religion, creed, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or sexual orientation also is a violation of state and federal law and/or NC State University policy and will not be tolerated. Retaliation against any person who complains about discrimination is also prohibited. NC State's policies and regulations covering discrimination, harassment, and retaliation may be accessed at http://policies.ncsu.edu/policy/pol-04-25-05 or http://www.ncsu.edu/equal_op/. Any person who feels that he or she has been the subject of prohibited discrimination, harassment, or retaliation should contact the Office for Equal Opportunity (OEO) at 919-515-3148.
N.C. State University Policies, Regulations, and Rules (PRR)
Students are responsible for reviewing the PRRs which pertain to their course rights and responsibilities. These include: http://policies.ncsu.edu/policy/pol-04-25-05 (Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Policy Statement), http://oied.ncsu.edu/oied/policies.php (Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity), http://policies.ncsu.edu/policy/pol-11-35-01 (Code of Student Conduct), and http://policies.ncsu.edu/regulation/reg-02-50-03 (Grades and Grade Point Average).
Online class evaluations will be available for students to complete during the last two weeks of class. Students will receive an email message directing them to a website where they can login using their Unity ID and complete evaluations. All evaluations are confidential; instructors will never know how any one student responded to any question, and students will never know the ratings for any particular instructors.
|Student help desk:||email@example.com|
|Info about ClassEval:||https://oirp.ncsu.edu/surveys/classeval/for-students/how-classeval-works/|
Trans Inclusive Syllabi Act
In an effort to affirm and respect the identities of transgender students in the classroom and beyond, please contact me if you wish to be referred to using a name and/or pronouns other than what is listed in the student directory.
COVID-19 Related Additional Information
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, public health measures continue to be implemented across campus. Students should stay current with these practices and expectations through the Protect the Pack website (https://www.ncsu.edu/coronavirus/). The sections below provide expectations and conduct related to COVID-19 issues.
Health and Participation in Class
We are most concerned about your health and the health of your classmates and instructors/TAs.
- If you test positive for COVID-19, or are told by a healthcare provider that you are presumed positive for the virus, you should not attend any hybrid or face-to-face (F2F) classes and work with your instructor on any adjustments necessary; also follow other university guidelines, including self-reporting (Coronavirus Self Reporting): Self-reporting is not only to help provide support to you, but also to assist in contact tracing for containing the spread of the virus.
- If you feel unwell, even if you have not been knowingly exposed to COVID-19, please do not come to a F2F class or activity.
- If you are in quarantine, have been notified that you may have been exposed to COVID-19, or have a personal or family situation related to COVID-19 that prevents you from attending this course in person (or synchronously), please connect with your instructor to make alternative plans, as necessary.
- If you need to make a request for an academic consideration related to COVID-19, such as a discussion about possible options for remote learning, please talk with your instructor.
- While attending the class room, students are expected to follow NCSU guidelines related to face covering, which currently requires face coverings in all indoor spaces on campus for students, faculty, staff and visitors, regardless of vaccination status. So students will need to wear a face covering while attending the class. Students violating the COVID-19 Community Standards will be processed in accordance with the Student Discipline Procedures. Students found responsible for a violation will receive sanction(s) which may include Disciplinary Probation and/or Suspension. .
Health and Well-Being Resources
These are difficult times, and academic and personal stress is a natural result. Everyone is encouraged to take care of themselves and their peers. If you need additional support, there are many resources on campus to help you:
- Counseling Center
- Health Center
- If the personal behavior of a classmate concerns or worries you, either for the classmate’s well-being or yours, we encourage you to report this behavior to the NC State CARES team
- If you or someone you know are experiencing food, housing or financial insecurity, please see the Pack Essentials Program
Community Standards related to COVID-19
We are all responsible for protecting ourselves and our community. Please see the community expectations (which have been updated for 2021) and Rule 04.21.01 regarding Personal Safety Requirements Related to COVID-19 RUL 04.21.01 – Personal Safety Requirements Related to COVID-19 – Policies, Regulations & Rules
Course Expectations Related to COVID-19
- Face Coverings: All members of the NC State academic community are expected to follow all university policies and guidelines, including the Personal Safety Rule and community standards, for the use of face coverings. Face coverings are required in instructional spaces. Face coverings should be worn to cover the nose and mouth and be close fitting to the face with minimal gaps on the sides.
- Course Attendance: NC State attendance policies can be found at: https://policies.ncsu.edu/regulation/reg-02-20-03-attendance-regulations/. Please refer to this course’s attendance, absence, and deadline policies for additional details. If you are quarantined or otherwise need to miss class because you have been advised that you may have been exposed to COVID-19, you should not be penalized regarding attendance or class participation. However, you will be expected to develop a plan to keep up with your coursework during any such absences. If you become ill with COVID-19, you should follow the steps outlined in the health and participating section above. COVID 19-related absences will be considered excused; documentation need only involve communication with your instructor.
- Technology Requirements: This course may require particular technologies to complete coursework. Be sure to review the syllabus for these expectations, and see the https://go.ncsu.edu/syllabus-tech-requirements to find out more about technical requirements for your course. If you need access to additional technological support, please contact the Libraries’ Technology Lending Service: https://www.lib.ncsu.edu/devices.
Course Delivery Changes Related to COVID-19
Please be aware that the situation regarding COVID-19 is frequently changing, and the delivery mode of this course could change accordingly, including from in-person to remote. Regardless of the delivery method, we will strive to provide a high-quality learning experience.
NO LONGER AVAILABLE - Grading/Scheduling Changing Options Related to COVID-19
Two policies, (1) enhanced S/U Grading Option, and (2) Late Course Drops, were put in place at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to ease student stress and promote course completion. Those two policies have been discontinued and thus are no longer available to students.
For situations where relief may be needed, and depending on the details, students should explore the applicability of an “incomplete” grade in the course. If you are experiencing difficult or extenuating circumstances, you should discuss possible options with your instructor and your academic advisor.