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EECS Professor Talks Digital Privacy at the Lawrence Public Library

November 7, 2019

The Lawrence Public Library hosted an open talk by EECS Assistant Professor Drew Davidson on protecting digital privacy. The talk described the ways an average computer user can protect themselves against common threats online and from computer theft. 

The 90-minute lecture provided an overview of scenarios that can lead to the compromise of information such as credit cards, passwords and personal information, as well as mitigation strategies for those scenarios. The talk concluded with a question-and-answer session with members of the audience about the current privacy landscape online.

The lecture exists as part of an effort to educate the public about the tools and techniques available to non-experts in computer security, while still providing meaningful protections in the ever-changing world of modern security and privacy. 

“It was important to me that any software tools and services presented in the lecture were free. There is a lot of confusion about what is necessary, and what addresses problems that most people don’t really have to worry about” said Davidson.

The talk encourages users to “think like a security researcher” by identifying the most realistic capabilities and goals of privacy-violating entities, and then addressing those specific threats. In addition to these concrete steps, the talk also discussed educational resources for learning more about digital privacy. Lawrence community members, KU students and staff, and staff of the Lawrence Public Library were among those in attendance at the talk in mid-October.

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