Undergrad Research Project - HCII PrivacyGrade Project

Fall 2016

Student
Alexander Yu
Advisor
Jason Hong
Project description

The PrivacyGrade project in the HCII department takes Android smartphone apps in the Google PlayStore and assigns each app a grade based on how good a job it does with data privacy. The project is meant to show smartphone users what kind of data and levels of access they are agreeing to give to these apps. The project consists of 3 main parts; the crawler that trawls through all the apps in the PlayStore and downloads their apk files, the analysis pipeline that analyzes all the apps to ascertain their “privacy grade”, and the website for the general public to browse our results with.

My first objective with this research project would be to update the crawling process so that it can work it updates in parallel instead of sequentially, and so that the data obtained is stored in a more efficient manner such that storage will not be an issue in the future. Another objective would be to work on improving the ML model used for determining the grades. My final objective would be to update the analysis process such that future developers can easily include other features that want to be analyzed without having to make large changes to the code.

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