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Morin Ostkamp’s research focus is on “designing privacy-preserving personalized public display systems.” He conducted this work as a research associate at the Software Engineering Lab of Münster University of Applied Sciences and at the Institute for Geoinformatics (ifgi) at the University of Münster.

Digital public displays are a popular means of communication nowadays. They are commonly used as information outlets at traffic hubs, shopping malls, or public places in general. They feature some key advantages in comparison to other media types. For example, they are more flexible and more up-to-date than paper based approaches, and they usually have bigger screens than personal devices. Additionally, they are visually prominent, provide broad accessibility, and are situated in a certain context.

Clearly, showing users content that is “relevant” to them is an important issue. For example, due to a lack of relevant content, many people have developed a blindness towards public displays. Personal content is often regarded as relevant, but that calls for certain means of privacy in turn. Ostkamp’s thesis focuses on designing “privacy-preserving personalized public display systems.” It addresses three research questions: What are main privacy threats on public displays? What are countermeasures to those privacy threats? How to support the design process of public displays?

Three tangible contributions address each research question: a privacy threat model, a list and classification of existing counter-measures accompanied by three novel countermeasures, and an integrated process. The latter provides a new methodology to design, prototype, and evaluate privacy-preserving personalized public display systems. Designers and researchers can use these contributions to create public displays, that do not pose a threat to the user’s privacy.

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