The Center for Information Technology Policy

Monday, Apr 9, 2012

Informing policies that protect consumers, voters and users of technology

From checking your bank balance to sharing photos with friends, our use of information technology is fast moving from a luxury to an indispensable part of our lives. As we embrace technology's benefits, however, few of us consider the policy decisions that govern our access and ensure our privacy and safety.

A Video Introduction to CITPResearchers at the Center for Information Technology Policy (CITP) are at the forefront of developing guidelines and technical solutions to address the use and potential misuse of electronic information. CITP research helps shape policies that protect consumers, preserve the rights of content-creators, and enable broad use of technology for voting, commerce and other applications.

With strong emphases on research, teaching and serving society, CITP brings together Princeton researchers from across disciplines in areas of engineering, public policy, and social sciences.

Research Areas:

  • Electronic Voting: Although electronic voting has the potential to increase accuracy and voter access, it introduces new vulnerabilities and opportunities for fraud. CITP researchers have exposed security vulnerabilities in voting machines and they continue to provide technical guidance on electronic voting to elected officials, courts, and other governmental bodies.
  • Government Transparency: Access to public records via the Internet has enabled tremendous improvements in government transparency, but more needs to be done. CITP has taken a leadership role in the RECAP project, a free electronic public access system for the U.S. Federal District and Bankruptcy Courts.
  • Intellectual Property: As Internet use has grown, traditional rights governing the use of photos, texts and music have come under attack. Efforts to protect digital intellectual property rights can have unintended consequences, however. CITP researchers continue to research and publish findings on how technology and public policy shape intellectual property rights, and they frequently analyze policy proposals for feasibility and effectiveness.
  • Browser Security: The average user tends to view his or her Internet usage as a private matter, yet browsers can contain security issues that make them vulnerable to third-party observation. CITP members have uncovered such failures and engaged with browser vendors to repair security issues and build more secure systems for the future.
  • Other research areas include automated document redaction, equitable access to technology, browser privacy, secure cloud computing, and community decision-making. VIsit CITP to read about these research areas.

 CITP.In addition to research, a major focus at CITP is education. The Center offers opportunities for visiting fellows and postdoctoral researchers. Graduate students from computer science, politics, electrical engineering and sociology establish affiliations with CITP each year. Undergraduate opportunities include a certificate through the Program in Information Technology and Society, which is offered jointly by CITP and the Keller Center for Innovation in Engineering Education.

CITP researchers are at the forefront of policy discussions involving electronic voting, privacy, information transparency and many other topics. The Center regularly hosts an invited lecture series as well as conferences and special events.

”The information technology revolution is transforming every aspect of our lives.  CITP research is helping society, industry, and government make better decisions about technology and public life,” said Edward Felten, director of CITP and Professor of Computer Science and Public Affairs.