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Helen Nissenbaum

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Helen Nissenbaum
Nissenbaum in 2008
Alma materStanford University
University of the Witwatersrand
Known forContextual integrity
AwardsBarwise Prize (2014)
Scientific career
FieldsInformation science, Human–Computer Interaction, Privacy, Digital Media
InstitutionsCornell Tech

Helen Nissenbaum is professor of information science at Cornell Tech.[1] She is best known for the concept of "contextual integrity" and her work on privacy, privacy law, trust, and security in the online world. Specifically, contextual integrity has influenced the United States government's thinking about privacy issues.[2][3]

Early life and education


Nissenbaum studied mathematics and philosophy at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, graduating in 1976. She then went on to study at Stanford University, where she completed a Master's in the social science of education in 1978, and a PhD in philosophy in 1983.[1]





Nissenbaum has received grants from the National Science Foundation, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Ford Foundation, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the National Coordinator, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.[4]

Browser extensions


She has also contributed to several browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome. TrackMeNot was the first extension that she co-created in 2006.[5] TrackMeNot uses the notion of privacy-through-obfuscation to protect the user against online identification, surveillance, and profiling. AdNauseam, created in 2009, follows a similar obfuscation strategy for online ads. Adnostic[6] was created in 2013 to enable online ad targeting without compromising user's privacy.[7][8][9]



Nissenbaum has written or edited a number of papers[10] and books:

  • Helen Nissenbaum (1986). Emotion and Focus. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780937073209.
  • Johnson, Deborah G.; Nissenbaum, Helen, eds. (1995). Computers, Ethics & Social Values. Prentice Hall. ISBN 9780131031104.
  • Nissenbaum, Helen; Price, Monroe E., eds. (2004). Academy & the Internet. Peter Lang. ISBN 9780820462035.
  • Helen Nissenbaum (2009). Privacy in Context: Technology, Policy, and the Integrity of Social Life. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. ISBN 9780804772891.
  • Lane, Julia; Stodden, Victoria; Bender, Stefan; Nissenbaum, Helen, eds. (2014). Privacy, Big Data, and the Public Good: Frameworks for Engagement. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781107067356.
  • Mary Flanagan; Helen Nissenbaum (2014). Values at Play in Digital Games. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. ISBN 9780262027663.
  • Finn Brunton; Helen Nissenbaum (2015). Obfuscation: A User's Guide for Privacy and Protest. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. ISBN 9780262029735.

Honors and awards



  1. ^ a b "Helen Nissenbaum". nissenbaum.tech.cornell.edu. Retrieved 2017-12-14.
  2. ^ Alexis Madrigal (29 March 2012). "The Philosopher Whose Fingerprints Are All Over the FTC's New Approach to Privacy". The Atlantic. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  3. ^ "CV Helen Nissenbaum". New York University. Retrieved 2013-04-11.
  4. ^ "Helen Nissenbaum Bio". New York University. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  5. ^ Howe, Daniel C. (2016). "Surveillance Countermeasures: Expressive Privacy via Obfuscation". aprja.net. APRJA. Retrieved 14 November 2016. Some critics questioned TrackMeNot's effectiveness against machine-learning attacks, some cast it as a misuse of bandwidth, and others found it unethical.
  6. ^ "Adnostic: Privacy Preserving Targeted Advertising". crypto.stanford.edu. Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  7. ^ Nissenbaum, Helen. "From preemption to circumvention" (PDF). Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  8. ^ Toubiana, Vincent; Narayanan, Arvind; Boneh, Dan; Nissenbaum, Helen; Barocas, Solon (1 March 2010). "Adnostic: Privacy Preserving Targeted Advertising". Network and Distributed System Security Symposium. Internet Society. Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  9. ^ Nissenbaum, Helen (Fall 2011). "A Contextual Approach to Privacy Online" (PDF). Daedalus. 140 (4). Cambridge, MA: American Academy of Arts & Sciences: 32–48. doi:10.1162/DAED_a_00113. S2CID 207589315. Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  10. ^ "Curriculum Vitae: Articles". Helen Nissenbaum. tech.cornell.edu. Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  11. ^ "K. Jon Barwise Prize". American Philosophical Association. Retrieved 20 December 2020.
  12. ^ "Honorary Doctorates". Leuphana Universität Lüneburg. Archived from the original on 19 July 2021. Retrieved 20 December 2020.
  13. ^ "Distinguished Fellows". Stanford HAI. Retrieved 20 December 2020.