August 31, 2021

Facebook Head of Privacy Research Liz Keneski discusses new research award opportunity

By: Meta Research

Last year, we offered a first-ever research award opportunity for academics centered around experiences and expectations with digital privacy. We received great responses from the global community, and we’re pleased to continue this initiative again with the launch of a new request for proposals in the same space.

View RFP

To learn more about this new RFP, we reached out to Liz Keneski, Head of Privacy Research at Facebook. In this Q&A, Keneski discusses her team, the impact of collaborating with academia, and what this year’s RFP is about.

Q: What is your role at Facebook, and what does your team do?

Liz Keneski: I have the privilege to lead and support the Privacy Research team. We study privacy from a number of lenses, including understanding people’s privacy needs across topics like content controls, accessing and downloading their data, and privacy settings and data permissions. Because Facebook’s global user base is so diverse, we must consider differences in privacy needs across cultures and populations in our research.

Q: What was last year’s RFP about? What’s the goal of this year’s RFP?

LK: Both this year’s and last year’s RFP are about expanding research on two vital topics for the advancement of privacy science: privacy measurement and inclusive privacy. In order to continue to improve our privacy features, we need fine-grain survey instruments to best understand how privacy expectations and attitudes change over time in response to the changes we make. Further, to be able to build privacy controls and transparency inclusively for people all over the world, we need to deeply understand the unique privacy needs of different populations.

Q: How does this RFP fit into the bigger picture for privacy work at Facebook? Why is it important to collaborate with academia?

LK: We’re aiming to grow the body of knowledge in privacy science as a whole. This means supporting high-quality privacy research — both within and outside Facebook — that we can all learn from as a broader privacy community. Academics are often able to dive into certain topics or areas deeply over the course of many years, and we want to apply that expertise to the way we build privacy products for people.

Q: Where can people stay updated and learn more?

LK: Visit the Security and Privacy research page to learn more and find current publications and team member profiles. Our Research Awards page features our open research award opportunities. To receive email notifications about our new research awards and proposal deadlines, subscribe to our email newsletter.