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K-State Today

October 24, 2014

Computing and information sciences distinguished lecture presents L. Jean Camp Oct. 24

By Ami Ratzlaff

L. Jean Camp will present a computing and information sciences distinguished lecture at 12:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24, in 126 Nichols Hall. The lecture is "Beyond Usability and Economics: Translucent Security."

The abstract for the lecture is:

Economics of security identified the concept of incentive misalignment in security and privacy technologies. Incentive misalignment suggests that sometimes people do not care about privacy or security, and are right given the products being offered. Resolving this problem requires incentive-aligned design.

Risk communications suggest that people would invest and care about security, but are simply unaware of the risks. In this case, what is needed is effective risk communication. Security decisions follow the set of heuristics and incentive requirements documented in other risk domains; and design can recognize this.
Finally, traditional usability suggests that technical solution are sometimes unusable, defeating those who seek secure computing. This requires not only improved interaction design, but also an understanding that interaction requirements are part of the cost of security investment.

I argue that considering issues of caring, knowing, and taking action are all appropriate goals of effective security design. Human and economic components must be treated in a comprehensive, theoretically-grounded manner. I propose translucent security. Translucent security approaches users as individuals making complex risk decisions with limited budgets: including limited time, limited cognitive budgets, and limited money. I will introduce the theoretical arguments for translucent security and enumerate the theories underlying the approach. My analysis is grounded in basic observations of why some systems fail (e.g., lemons markets, lack of incentive. stop points).

After briefly listing the principles, a few high-level overviews of past and current projects shows how these theories in principle are highly applicable in practice.

Camp is a professor at the School of Informatics, adjunct professor of telecommunications and an adjunct professor of computer science at Indiana University.

Camp's core interest is technical trust mechanisms in economic and social context. It was this interest that led Camp from graduate electrical engineering research in North Carolina to the engineering and public policy department at Carnegie Mellon, and it remained her core interests as a senior member of the technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories. At Sandia National Laboratories her work focused on computer security. She left Sandia National Laboratories for eight years at Harvard's Kennedy School. Now as a tenured professor at Indiana University's School of Informatics, her research addresses security in society.

Camp is the author of "Trust and Risk in Internet Commerce" published by MIT Press; "Economics of Identity Theft" published by Springer; and the editor the "Economics of Information Security" published by Kluwer Academic. She has authored more than 100 works, including 70 peer-reviewed works and 18 book chapters. She has participated in organizing and presented at scores of conferences. Her service has included the board of directors of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility, the board of governors of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Society on Social Implications of Technology, senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and longstanding member of the United States Association for Computational Mechanics.