Colloquium: University of Maryland iSchool prof discusses changing norms of interaction due to networked spaces

On Thursday, March 12, Assistant Professor Jessica Vitak of University of Maryland’s iSchool will be talking about how communication technologies have affected the way we conceptualize friendship and consider privacy.

I like it….whatever that means: The evolving relationship between disclosure, audience, and privacy in networked spaces

Date: March 12
3:30 to 4:40 p.m.
CMU 126

jessica_vitakAbstract: In the last decade, advances in communication technologies have changed the way we conceptualize friendship, enabled fast and cheap communication at a distance, and allowed us to extend our networks far beyond what we would have been able to do otherwise. At the same time, these technologies evolve at such a fast pace that considerations for the implications of our actions often come long after usage begins. In this talk, I’ll highlight research from a number of recent studies that consider the consequences of moving your private life to public spaces. Mark Zuckerberg famously stated in 2010 that privacy is no longer a social norm, and users’ behaviors on Facebook and other sites would appear to support that statement. However, privacy is far from dead, and users are able to balance the tensions between concealing and revealing–if they have the requisite skills and knowledge to do so.

Bio: Jessica Vitak is an assistant professor at the University of Maryland’s iSchool. Her research is currently divided into two primary research areas: (1) networked privacy and (2) the social impacts of ICTs. Within these broad categories, her research is largely focused on the “human” part of human-computer interaction, as she is interested in understanding underlying motivations for user behaviors as well as how users interpret and engage with technologies to share personal information and obtain social support.

At Maryland, she is an affiliate faculty member of the HCI Lab (HCIL) and a Senior Fellow with the Center for the Advanced Study of Communities and Information (CASCI). She is also affiliated with the Maryland Cybersecurity Center (MC2) on campus.