Measuring Online Behavioural Advertising and Other Adventures in Data Protection & Data Economics

Wednesday, December 4, 2019


ISI seminar room 1st floor

Nikolaos Laoutaris Research professor at IMDEA Networks Institute Madrid

In this talk I will present our results on detecting behavioural targeting in online advertising and will cover the two families of methods that we have developed for this problem, based on 1) content-based analysis for identifying correlations between visited web-pages and obtained ads, and 2) frequency-based analysis using only impression counts to detect ads that follow a user across domains. I'll also cover my initial work on establishing transparency around online price discrimination, as well as how this work lead to the creation of the Data Transparency Lab while at Telefonica. I will complete my talk by introducing my new line of work around Human-Centric Data Economies and the related research group I am building at IMDEA Networks.
Nikolaos Laoutaris is a research professor at IMDEA Networks Institute in Madrid since Dec 2018. Prior to that he was director of data science at Eurecat and chief scientist of the Data Transparency Lab which he co-founded in 2014 during his 10 year tenure as a researcher and senior researcher of Telefonica Research in Barcelona. Before Telefonica, Nikolaos was a postdoc fellow at Harvard University and Marie Curie postdoc fellow at Boston University. He got his PhD in computer science from the University of Athens in 2004. Nikolaos has since 2001 conducted research and innovation in a broad spectrum of areas of computer science including privacy/transparency/data protection, economics of networks and information, intelligent transportation, distributed systems, protocols, and network measurements. The output of this work includes a substantial publication records in top quality highly selective venues, several submitted and awarded patents, innovative new technologies reaching pre-commercial and commercial stage, extensive community service through participation in scientific committees, creating the Data Transparency Lab, helping policy makers, etc. Nikolaos publishes frequently and participates in the  program committee of venues such as ACM SIGCOMM, ACM CoNEXT, ACM IMC, ACM SIGMETRICS, ACM PODC, WWW,  ACM HotNets, IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, IEEE INFOCOM, etc. He has an h-index of 32, has received best paper awards at QofIS’01 (predecessor of ACM CoNEXT) and ACM IMC’18, and has given a large number of invited talks around the world. Nikolaos has participated in various European Projects, has supervised/co-supervised 5 PhD students and more than 30 interns, and has conducted extensive outreach activities with international and national press. For more details as well as for online copies of papers, talks, etc please consult: