Taslima Akter, Designing Privacy Enhancing Technology for Blind and Low-Vision (BLV) People

WHen: Tuesday 2/13 from 1:00 to 2:00 PM.
Where: Quinn 214
Abstract: Advancements in computer vision and machine learning have empowered Blind and Low-Vision (BLV) individuals through camera-based assistive applications. These systems, capable of recognizing objects, identifying colors, and reading text, provide independence to BLV users. However, the reliance on camera-based assistive systems introduces privacy concerns for BLV users and bystanders (people around them) captured in photos. Because reviewing the content of images before sharing can be challenging for BLV people, they may share sensitive information unintentionally (e.g., a credit card or a person may be present in the background) which could lead to identity theft. In this talk, I will explain the visual privacy concerns of BLV people with human assistants and highlight their shared privacy concerns in automated facial and activity recognition by camera-based assistive systems. Additionally, I will also discuss the accessibility and privacy challenges faced by BLV meeting facilitators using videoconferencing tools. I will conclude with future research plans for enhancing privacy and accessibility in visual data sharing through assistive technologies.

Short bio:
Taslima Akter is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Science at the University of California, Irvine. She earned her Ph.D. from the Department of Computer Science at Indiana University Bloomington. Her research in security and privacy and accessible computing aims to create more privacy-preserving and inclusive experiences for the users of assistive technologies. Her work encompasses diverse topics such as security and privacy considerations for people with disabilities, as well as exploring security and privacy issues within social media platforms. She has been recognized with the Computing Innovation Fellowship (CIFellows) and the Cognizant Trust and Safety fellowship. Taslima has published in prominent security/privacy venues, including USENIX Security, as well as HCI and accessibility venues such as ASSETS, CSCW, and TACCESS. For more details, visit her website at https://aktertaslima.github.io/.