Personal Homepage of Claudia Diaz

    What I am busy with... (Complete list of publications and other work)
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Since October 2010 I am Assistant Professor at the COSIC research group of the Department of Electrical Engineering (ESAT) at the KU Leuven. I did my Ph.D. at COSIC supervised by Prof. Bart Preneel and Prof. Joos Vandewalle, and defended my doctoral thesis entitled Anonymity and Privacy in Electronic Services in December 2005. Before that, I obtained in 2000 my Master’s degree in Telecommunications Engineering at the University of Vigo (Spain). Between 2009 and 2012 I was supported by the National Fund for Scientific Research in Flanders (FWO). I was a research visitor at the Computer Lab Security Group of the University of Cambridge (UK) between January and March 2009, and at the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication of New York University (USA) between February and March 2014.

As you can see here, COSIC is a very large group consisting of around 60 people. COSIC is divided in several semi-formal subgroups each focusing on a research area, and one of my tasks within COSIC is to coordinate the Privacy Group, which consists of around ten people.

I currently teach two courses:

My research is focused on Privacy Enhancing Technologies, and I have published a few research papers in collaboration with many different co-authors.

The research questions I am most interested in are:

·            Formalization, modeling and quantification of privacy properties such as anonymity, unlinkability, unobservability and deniability. The goal of this line of work is to define models that provide a better understanding of what is meant by privacy, and metrics that are useful to assess the level of privacy protection provided by different systems. One of my main research contributions has been the proposal of information-theoretic anonymity metrics.

·            Design and analysis of privacy preserving systems. A big part of my work in this area has dealt with anonymous communication systems, whose goal is to preserve the confidentiality of communication relationships – i.e., to conceal who talks to whom. This is an important problem because these relationships leak information that can be used to infer lots of sensitive personal data; and also a difficult one since it is much easier to gather and analyze traffic data than to design secure and practical systems that protect against traffic analysis attacks. I am also interested in other applications such as privacy-preserving identity management, social networks, location privacy, steganographic file systems, negative databases, and private search.

·            Interdisciplinary aspects of privacy. Privacy is not just a technical discipline – it has relevant legal, social, economic, cultural, and political aspects. Therefore, it is very important for researchers working on privacy to have a good understanding of the broader context of the subject. For many years, I have worked in close collaboration with the lawyers at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Law and ICT (ICRI), as well as with researchers of the DistriNet group at the Dept. of Computer Science, in the context of the APES, ADAPID, and SPION projects. Between 2004 and 2009 I have been actively involved with the FP6 FIDIS Network of Excellence, where I have worked together with researchers from a variety of backgrounds. 

Besides writing research papers, I spend a fair amount of time doing reviews for conferences, journals, and projects. I am or have been a Program Committee member in more than thirty conferences, and I have reviewed papers for more than a dozen journals. I have also reviewed project proposals for the Dutch security research program Sentinels, and I am project reviewer for IST FP7 projects funded by the European Commission.

I have organized a number of events, most of which were project related workshops. I was the General Chair of the 8th Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium (PETS’08), Pogram co-Chair of the 16th European Symposium on Research in Computer Security (ESORICS 2011), and Local Organizing Chair of the Workshop on Trustworthy Elections (WOTE'08). I am a member of the Advisory Board of the PET Symposium and the Scientific Committee of the CPDP Conference, as well as an Associate Editor of the IDIS journal. 

COSIC participates in a lot of projects, and I contribute in one way or another to several of them. Between 2005 and 2009 I was in charge of coordinating ADAPID, and I was the main contact person in the group for the FIDIS Network of Excellence (2004-09). I am currently the scientific coordinator of SPION. You can find here more information about the projects I am (or have been) involved with, and the project reports I have co-authored are available here.

I have given more than 100 talks and participated several discussion panels as either panelist or moderator (the slides are available here). I try to keep track of the events I have attended by maintaining a list here.

I am Ph.D. advisor of Güneş Acar, Ero Balsa, Michael Herrmann, Marc Juarez, and Cristina Perez Sola. Carmela Troncoso is a former student who graduated in 2011.

I have followed language courses of French (level C1), Portuguese (level B2) and Dutch (intermediate level 2) at the CLT and ILT.

Selected recent publications

  1. FPDetective: Dusting the web for fingerprinters. Gunes Acar, Marc Juarez, Nick Nikiforakis, Claudia Diaz, Seda Gürses, Frank Piessens, and Bart Preneel. To appear in Proceedings of the 20th ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS 2013), ACM, 12 pages, 2013.
  2. Hero or Villain: The Data Controller in Privacy Law and Technologies. Claudia Diaz, Omer Tene, and Seda Gürses. To appear at the Ohio State Law Journal 74(6):923-964, 2013.
  3. Two tales of privacy in online social networks. Seda Gürses and Claudia Diaz. In IEEE Security & Privacy Magazine Vol. 11(3):29-37, Special Issue on Social Networks, May/June 2013.
  4. OB-PWS: Obfuscation-Based Private Web Search. Ero Balsa, Carmela Troncoso, and Claudia Diaz. In IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (IEEE S&P 2012) SoK, IEEE,  pp. 491-505, 2012.
  5. Engineering Privacy by Design. Seda Gürses, Carmela Troncoso, and Claudia Diaz. In Conference on Computers, Privacy & Data Protection (CPDP 2011), 25 pages (pre-print), 2011.
  6. Systems for Anonymous Communication. George Danezis, Claudia Diaz, and Paul Syverson. In CRC Handbook of Financial Cryptography and Security, CRC Cryptography and Network Security Series, B. Rosenberg, and D. Stinson (Eds.), Chapman & Hall, pp. 341-390, 2010.
  7. Unraveling an Old Cloak: k-anonymity for Location Privacy. Reza Shokri, Carmela Troncoso, Claudia Diaz, Julien Freudiger, and Jean-Pierre Hubaux. In Proceedings of the 9th ACM workshop on Privacy in the electronic society (WPES 2010), K. Frikken (Ed), ACM, pp. 115-118, 2010.
  8. Impact of Network Topology on Anonymity and Overhead in Low-Latency Anonymity Networks. Claudia Diaz, Steven J. Murdoch, and Carmela Troncoso. In Proceedings of the 10th Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium (PETS 2010), M. Atallah and N. Hopper (Eds), Springer LNCS 6205, pp. 184-201, 2010.
  9. Drac: An Architecture for Anonymous Low-Volume Communications. George Danezis, Claudia Diaz, Carmela Troncoso, and Ben Laurie. In Proceedings of the 10th Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium (PETS 2010), M. Atallah and N. Hopper (Eds), Springer LNCS 6205, pp. 202-219, 2010.
  10. The wisdom of Crowds: attacks and optimal constructions. George Danezis, Claudia Diaz, Emilia Käsper, and Carmela Troncoso. To appear in 14th European Symposium on Research in Computer Security (ESORICS 2009), M. Backes and P. Ning (Eds), Springer LNCS 5789, pp. 406-423, 2009.

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