ISTD Seminar by Dr. Nikolaos Laoutaris

04 May 2015 2.00pm to 3.00pm SUTD Think Tank 19 (Building 2, Level 3, Room 2.304)

In this talk I will introduce the vision behind the recently created Data Transparency Lab (DTL) and its supporting community. I will give examples of the constantly eroding trust that users have for online websites and service, and how this can eventually lead to the de-throning of the web as the communication medium of choice for people around the world. I'll draw parallels between today's privacy problems of the web and events that have plagued TV and newspapers in the past, and show how all of the above are instances of the basic "Tragedy of the Commons" occurring in multiple efforts of human societies. I'll summarize the mission of DTL as "using transparency to avoid a Tragedy of the Commons in the web due to privacy and loss of trust". For more info visit

Nikolaos Laoutaris is a senior researcher at the Internet research group of Telefonica Research in Barcelona. Prior to joining the Barcelona lab he was a postdoc fellow at Harvard University and a Marie Curie postdoc fellow at Boston University. He got his PhD in computer science from the University of Athens in 2004. In his latest work Nikolaos has been focusing on the economics of ISP inter-connection (including issues of network neutrality) and the economics of privacy on the web and e-commerce. His work in the area focuses on quantitative and measurement aspects and targets real world questions in these fields, including:

  • Deriving fair bandwidth prices for various types of network inter-connection.
  • Quantifying the frequency and the extent of Price Discrimination instances on e-commerce sites.
  • Quantifying privacy leakage on the web and its relation to targeted advertising.

Nikolaos is currently collaborating with a consortium of academic and industrial partners across Europe that aims to develop tools and methodologies for:

  • Helping users detect and mitigate privacy leakages.
  • Help Telcos and service companies implement and apply privacy protection services on behalf of end users.
  • Build privacy by design mechanisms.

For more info: