Pamela Wisniewski     
Dr. Pamela Wisniewski

Postdoctoral Scholar
Pennsylvania State University
"Using Technology to Connect and Protect”
Thursday, February 19, 4:00 PM
Packard Lab Room 466

Abstract: Dr. Wisniewski will be giving a research presentation on how privacy is an interpersonal boundary regulation process that helps individuals optimize their social interactions online so that they can simultaneously connect with others and protect themselves. Her view of privacy as a necessary social mechanism for engaging with others departs from tradition privacy paradigms, which tend to view privacy as contentious to social media’s goal of sharing and connecting. Instead, Dr. Wisniewski’s research shows evidence that social privacy is not just about limiting information disclosures online; it involves many facets of interpersonal relationship management that, when properly managed, can actually help individuals feel more socially connected. Further, the way in which users negotiate their privacy boundaries within social media is complex, varies by user, and is an on-going process. Thus, Dr. Wisniewski’s research promotes technology solutions that go beyond simply designing privacy settings that prevent information privacy breaches, to solutions that more closely emulate how humans engage with one another in the real world. Using qualitative and quantitative methodologies, she will present results from her dissertation and post doctoral research that lend deeper insight into the privacy and social media behaviors of both adults and adolescents.

Bio:   Dr. Wisniewski is a post doctoral scholar of Information Sciences and Technology at the Pennsylvania State University. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a Ph.D. in Computing and Information Systems and a concentration in Human-Computer Interaction. She also holds a MS/BS from the University of Florida in Decision and Information Sciences. She has over 6 years of industry experience as a systems developer/business analyst; has taught 9 undergraduate courses and 1 graduate level course; and has published research in both the Human-Computer-Interaction (HCI) and Management Information Systems (MIS) communities. Her research interests are situated at the juxtaposition of Human-Computer Interaction, Social Computing, and Privacy. An emerging theme across her research has been regulating the boundaries between how individuals manage their relationships with technology and how they manage their social interactions with others through the use of technology. In addition, her research examines how individuals cope once these boundaries have been violated. She uses an interdisciplinary approach to address these research questions by integrating literature in HCI, social psychology, and information systems in order to develop relevant theories and suggest design practices that better support how humans engage with and through technology. Her goal is to frame privacy as a means to not only protect end users, but more importantly, to enrich online social interactions that individuals share with others.

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