SPICE Professor Apu Kapadia Receives NSF Frontiers Award To Study The Protection of Marginalized & Vulnerable Populations

SPICE Professor Apu Kapadia has received an NSF Frontiers Award to study the protection of marginalized and vulnerable populations. The $7.5 million grant is a collaboration between the University of Florida, the University of Washington, and Indiana University, of which $1.5 million is directed to IU Bloomington for Professors Kapadia and Kurt Hugenberg of the College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington to perform interdisciplinary research into the under-addressed issues of technology and exclusion for marginalized and vulnerable populations.

Building a community of researchers dedicated to ensuring that these populations’ needs are represented in security and privacy into the future, the project will use a multidisciplinary model based on Professor Kapadia’s Privacy Lab work and Professor Hugenberf’s Stereotyping, Prejudice and Facial Expression Lab.  The research “seeks to fundamentally change how security and privacy in computing is approached, to make centering the needs of marginalized and vulnerable populations the norm,” and will be informed by both direct collaborations with the populations it seeks to assist as well as “strong technical foundations and social science theories.”  The project seeks to have a long-term impact on design, education and policy, both inside of academia and in society itself through developing improved research methodologies.

The team’s research will be based on three major themes: (1) assessing the security and privacy needs of marginalized populations, (2) informing and co-creating technology (both current and emerging) solutions, and (3) systematizing and applying foundational design principles. Research modalities for their collection of researchers will include quantitative and qualitative human-centered studies to assess unique needs, assessing or re-imagining technologies that could act as solutions, and iteratively synthesizing lessons into implementable and sharable solutions to be disseminated with industry, academia, and policymakers.

Additional information on this and other NSF Frontiers Awards can be found at both IU News and at NSF News.  The award itself can be read at the NSF award page.