COMP 590/790: Privacy Enhancing Technologies

Spring 2022
Instructor: Saba Eskandarian
Lectures: Mon/Wed 2:30-3:45pm, FB009
Office Hours: by appointment
Gradescope (Entry Code GEXYZY)
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Course Description

This class covers a combination of fundamental tools and recent developments in privacy-enhancing technologies. The first half of the course will cover cryptographic tools that can be used to build privacy-preserving systems, and the second half will cover various privacy-enhancing technologies, including both research contributions and deployed systems. Along the way we will discuss how to think about the technology we create and its impact on society.

This class is intended for undergraduate or graduate students who are interested in thinking about what technology can do to protect privacy and why modern technology so often fails to do so. Prior experience in cryptography or security, while welcome, is by no means required.

Class meetings will consist of a mix of lectures and discussions, with discussion participation being an important component. Students will also complete a semester-long project on a relevant topic of their choosing. See the syllabus for more details.

Course Schedule

Class titles followed by required readings for the discussion that day. Lecture days do not have assigned readings.

A Crash Course in Cryptography

Private Computation Tools

Digital Money

Attacking Cryptography

Contextualizing Cryptography

Privacy, Anonymity, and Surveillance

Project Presentations and Conclusion