From Science Fiction to Science, Realized: Reimagining Privacy at Home, School, and Work in the Surveillance Age

Tuesday, March 26, 2024 noon to 1 p.m.

Go beyond reality, past imagination and unleash the possible with IST/School of Modeling, Simulation and Training during the next seminar in our series INSPIRING THE FUTURE.

Title: From Science Fiction to Science, Realized: Reimagining Privacy at Home, School, and Work in the Surveillance Age

Speaker: Dr. Jessica Vitak, University of Maryland

When: Tuesday, March 26, 2024 

Time: 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Location: Partnership III, Room 233

Abstract: Science fiction has long captured our imaginations, whether through George Orwell’s dystopian world of constant surveillance or the incredible technologies featured on Star Trek. In fact, we are increasingly living in the future predicted in these media, filled with surveillance cameras, smart devices, and more. What does the increased tracking of our every step, click, and purchase mean for our privacy, autonomy, and freedom? In this talk, Dr. Vitak will share high-level findings from the last eight years studying people’s attitudes toward surveillance at home, school, and work, highlighting the tensions consumers face when balancing utility and convenience against increasingly intrusive forms of data collection. Then she’ll provide some thoughts on a path forward and argue for using both design and policy to increase the amount of friction underlying our every digital move.

Speaker Bio: Jessica Vitak is an associate professor in the College of Information Studies and director of the Human-Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL) at the University of Maryland. Her research evaluates the privacy and ethical implications of new technologies that collect data in our homes, schools, and workplaces. She seeks to understand how privacy concerns play a role in technology adoption and use, and she develops tools and resources to help children and adults make more informed decisions when using technology and sharing sensitive data. For more information, visit

The Inspiring the Future: SMST Seminar Series is a series of regular 1-hour talks given throughout each semester, where preeminent researchers share their work with a highly interdisciplinary audience that includes students, faculty, military personnel, and industry leaders. The seminar series focuses on innovative modeling, simulation, and human-subjects research techniques.

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Partnership III Building: 233



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