Dr. Rachel Greenstadt and Students Receive Outstanding Research Award at Privacy Symposium

PSAL award picture
Dr. Rachel Greenstadt, Dr. Michael Brennan and Sadia Afroz at PET 2013.

July 15, 2013 — Dr. Rachel Greenstadt, assistant professor of computer science, Sadia Afroz, CS Ph.D. candidate, and Dr. Michael Brennan, recent CS graduate, received the PET Award for Outstanding Research at the 13th Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium for their paper, "Adversarial Stylometry: Circumventing Authorship Recognition to Preserve Privacy and Anonymity."

The use of stylometry, authorship recognition through linguistics, has contributed to literary, historical and criminal investigation breakthroughs. While existing stylometry research assumes that authors have not attempted to disguise their linguistic writing style, this paper addresses the successes of adversarial stylometry, a new avenue through which an untrained individual can modify his or her writing style to protect their identity.

Greenstadt is the principle investigator of Drexel University’s Privacy, Security and Automation Laboratory (PSAL). She and her team of undergraduate and graduate students research topics at the intersection between artificial intelligence, privacy and security, and human-computer interaction. The group has been nationally and internationally praised for their research on stylometry after developing two open-sourced tools, Anonymouth and JStylo.

The PET Symposium, held in Bloomington, Ind., July 10-12, 2013, brings together anonymity and privacy experts from around the world to discuss recent advances and new perspectives. Greenstadt and her students received the Andreas Pfitzmann Best Student Paper Award at PET 2012, during which Brennan was also recognized for a special presentation about his paper that summarized the impact of academic research on government policies. Read about both accomplishments here.