May 28, 2019

Facebook hosts annual Privacy Faculty Summit

By: Sharon Ayalde

On May 23, we hosted a Privacy Faculty Summit for 34 academic researchers and their Ph.D. students with backgrounds ranging from data privacy and computer security to social sciences and statistics. This annual summit has been an excellent forum to share and discuss Facebook’s work to improve privacy with a diverse group of privacy researchers.

“We are drawing from a diversity of ideas and expertise to make sure we’re taking the right approach to protecting people’s information on Facebook,” said Scott Renfro, Software Engineer. “Our annual Privacy Faculty Summit is a critical part of getting input from people with a range of backgrounds and perspectives.”

Software Engineer Scott Renfro and Director of Product Management David Baser kicked off the day with a survey of the broad range of challenges in privacy that people are working on across Facebook. The summit also featured several talks from Facebook researchers’ work on privacy-preserving technologies, privacy usability, and open privacy challenges.

For example, Bijan Madhani and William Morland spoke about their work in data portability, and Marc Celani and Wolfram Schulte provided an overview and insight on their work in described their work on Clarity of Purpose, which bakes data purpose limitations into frameworks that Facebook employees use every day. The subject of end-to-end encryption continued from last year’s Privacy Faculty Summit with updates for both Messenger and WhatsApp by Jon Millican and Ryan Betterman, respectively.

“Building strong relationships with academia by sharing our current projects and challenges allows us to gain their feedback and complement the work that we do,” said Sharon Ayalde, Research Program Manager, Academic Relations.

We look forward to continued collaboration with the academic community, whether through internships, faculty awards, research awards, visiting researchers or postdocs, or research collaborations.

For our recent publications and news, visit our Security and Privacy research page.