“Privacy is a value so complex, so entangled in competing and contradictory dimensions, so engorged with various and distinct meanings, that I sometimes despair whether it can be usefully addressed at all.” Robert C. Post, Three Concepts of Privacy, 89 Geo. L.J. 2087 (2001). We are interested in characterizing this complex phenomenon and use the characterization to build various technologies. We also believe that this characterization will help decision makers.

Current Projects:

Privacy in India: Attitudes and Awareness V 2.0

There has been very little research work done on understanding privacy perceptions in developing nations, in particular, in India. Our motivation and interest is to study privacy perceptions among Indian citizens on various topics. Currently, we are investigating the privacy awareness of people in India on -- the Internet, mobile phone, online social networks, credit cards, and Government. We believe, understanding the privacy perceptions may help in various decision making in the government, industry, and individuals.

Relevant publications
Ion, I., Sachdeva, N., Kumaraguru, P., and Capkun, S. Home is safer than the cloud! privacy concerns for consumer cloud storage. In Proceeding of Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS) (2011). Author's version

Kumaraguru, P., and Cranor, L. Privacy in India: Attitudes and Awareness. In Proceedings of the 2005 Workshop on Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PET2005) (2005). Author's version

Kumaraguru, P., Cranor, L. F., and Newton, E. Privacy perceptions in India and the United States: An Mental Model Study. In The 33rd Research Conference on Communication, Information and Internet Policy (TPRC) (2005). Author's version

Core members
Niharika Sachdeva, Ph.D. scholar
Dr. Ponnurangam Kumaraguru 

Past members 
Aditi Gupta, Ph.D. student
Dr. Mala Bhandari, Research staff 

If you are interested in knowing more or helping us with the research please write to pk [dot] guru [at] iiit [dot] ac [dot] in


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Privacy in Location based online social networks

In the last few years, the increasing interest in location-based services (LBS) has favored the introduction of geo-referenced information in various Web 2.0 applications, as well as the rise of location-based social networks (LBSN). Foursquare, one of the most popular LBSNs, gives incentives to users who visit (check in) specific places (venues) by means of, for instance, mayorships to frequent visitors. Moreover, users may leave tips at specific venues as well as mark previous tips as done in sign of agreement. We analyze how users explore these features, and their potential as sources of information leakage. Specifically, we characterize the use of mayorships, tips and dones in Foursquare based on a dataset with around 13 million users. We also analyze whether it is possible to easily infer the home city (state and country) of a user from these publicly available information. We are also interested analyzing whether a simple method can be used to infer the user home location using publicly available attributes and also the geographic information associated with locatable friends.

Relevant publications
Pontes, T., Magno, G., Vasconcelos, M., Gupta, A., Almeida, J., Kumaraguru, P., and Almeida, V. Beware of What You Share: Inferring Home Location in Social Networks. Accepted at Privacy in Social Data (PinSoda), in conjunction with International Conference on Data Mining (ICDM) (2012). Author's version | Bibtex

Pontes, T., Vasconcelos, M., Almeida, J., Kumaraguru, P., and Almeida, V. We Know Where You Live: Privacy Characterization of Foursquare Behavior. Accepted at 4th International Workshop on Location-Based Social Networks (LBSN 2012). Author's version | BibTex

Team members
Tatiana Pontes
Gabriel Magno
Marisa Vasconcelos
Aditi Gupta
Jussara Almeida
Virgilio Almeida
Ponnurangam Kumaraguru

If you are interested in knowing more or helping us with the research please write to pk [dot] guru [at] iiit [dot] ac [dot] in

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