PhD position on systems, privacy, and security aspects in a Human-Centric Data Economy

Data Transparency Group

Deadline for receipt of applications: July 1, 2024 23:59 AoE (02 July 2024, 13:59h Europe/Madrid Time)

Most of the web that we know operates under a “free-service in exchange for collecting your personal data” business model. The aim of this PhD position is to tackle systems, privacy, and security aspects of an alternative “human-centric” economy in which end users may negotiate, retract, and receive (micro) payments for granting access to their personal data.

The main aim of the Phd will be to design an accounting meta-data layer that will keep the necessary data for computing fair micropayments returned to end-users, in exchange for their data. Such accounting data will have to be precise enough for fair micropayment computation to be possible, but at the same time protect the privacy of users and allow them to remotely attest the accurate execution of micropayment schemes advertised by online services. In addition, the issue of data provenance and its connection with data economics will be studied.

Requirements (as many of the following as possible):

  • Degree in Computer Science or related field.
  • Strong background on systems, privacy, and security.
  • Strong programming and data analysis skills using recent technologies and frameworks.

Related pointers:

  • J. Lanier, “Who owns the future?”:
  • M. Paraschiv, N. Laoutaris, “Valuating User Data in a Human-Centric Data Economy,” [arXiv:1909.01137].
  • Carrascal et al., “Your browsing behavior for a big mac: economics of personal information online,” WWW’13. [pdf]
  • Papadopoulos et al., “If you are not paying for it, you are the product: How much do advertisers pay to reach you?,” ACM IMC’17. [pdf]
  • “An emerging offer of personal information management services”
  • Current state of service offers and challenges. DG CONNECT. [pdf]
  • (2016). EDPS Opinion on Personal Information Management Systems. [pdf]

The selected student will be supervised by Dr. Nikolaos Laoutaris.

Equal Employment Opportunity

IMDEA Networks Institute aims to increase the proportion of women and therefore qualified female applicants are explicitly encouraged to apply. Until a balanced ratio of men and women has been achieved at the institute, preference will be given to women if applicants have similar qualifications. IMDEA Networks Institute actively promotes diversity and equal opportunities. Applicants are not to be discriminated against in personnel selection procedures on the grounds of gender, ethnicity, religion or ideology, age, sexual orientation (anti-discrimination). People with disabilities who have the relevant qualifications are expressly invited to apply

  1. Remember to select the following option: PhD: PhD Student positions [2024]
  2. Deadline for receipt of applications: July 1, 2024 23:59 AoE (02 July 2024, 13:59h Europe/Madrid Time)
  3. If necessary choose as supervisor Nikolaos LAOUTARIS