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I am (Full) Professor of Security and Privacy Enhancing Technologies at University College London (UCL). I am affiliated with the Computer Science Department and currently serve as Head of the Information Security Research Group and Director of the Academic Center of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSR). Before joining UCL in 2013, I was a Research Scientist at Xerox PARC.

I am also on the Technology Advisory Panel at the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). In 2016, I co-founded the International Data-driven Research for Advanced Modeling and Analysis Lab (iDRAMA Lab).

Research

Overall, I do research in the broad information security area. Recently, I have been doing a lot of work at the intersection of machine learning and privacy, as well as on understanding and countering cybersafety issues using measurement studies and data science.

My research has been published at top-tier conferences such as IEEE S&P, NDSS, ACM CCS, WWW, ICWSM, ACM IMC. My co-authors and I have received best/distinguished paper awards from NDSS 2018, ACM IMC 2018, and CyberSafety 2019, as well as the Data Protection by Design Award from the Catalan Data Protection authority, and were runners-up for best paper at ACM IMC 2014, ICWSM 2017, the 2018 CSAW Europe Applied Research Award, and the 2019 INRIA-CNIL Privacy Protection Award.

Education

  • PhD in Networked Systems, 2011
    University of California, Irvine
    Advisor: Gene Tsudik
    Dissertation: Sharing Sensitive Information with Privacy
  • BSc in Computer Science, 2005
    University of Salerno, Italy
    Summa cum Laude, top 1% in graduating class

During my PhD, I also spent a few months on research internships at NEC in Heidelberg (2008), INRIA in Grenoble (2009), and Nokia in Lausanne (2010).

Personal

I was born in Avellino, a small town in South of Italy on the hills of Irpinia. Irpinia is known for its green landscapes and medieval castles, its soccer team, the hazelnuts, black truffles, and the torrone, as well as some great wines like Taurasi, Fiano di Avellino, and Greco di Tufo (which I know of only thanks to my brother Paolo who is an amazing wine journalist).

I have spent six awesome years in California (4 in Irvine and 2 in Palo Alto), before moving to (pre-Brexit, pre-Covid) London. I have also lived in Venice and Rome, and, briefly, in Portsmouth, Heidelberg, Singapore, Grenoble, Lausanne, Tehran, and Barcelona.

In my free time, I like acting as a coffee snob and a guerilla activist against pineapple on pizza, remembering (not without melancholy) the times I used to surf in San Onofre, cooking (only pasta and pizza, obviously) and planning trips (sigh) with my better half Darya and little one Maya.

I love languages and I am kind of fluent in English, French, and Italian (and Napolitan/Avellinese dialect), and can utter enough words to get out of (or in) trouble in German, Spanish, and Farsi.