University-led digital data tracking research project wins innovation award from national privacy organisation - PICCASO

Friday 23 December 2022

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A leading online data privacy initiative led by Coventry University has won the ‘Best Innovative Privacy Project’, as part of the PICCASO (Privacy, InfoSec, Culture, Change, Awareness, Societal, Organisation) awards, recognising the pioneering contributions the project has made to the privacy and data protection sector.

The EU Horizon 2020 funded CSI-COP project (Citizen Scientists Investigating Cookies and App GDPR Compliance) is made up of ten international collaborators, who look to engage citizens from across the globe to investigate how personal or ‘user data’ is tracked by visiting websites and using apps.

User data is incredibly valuable and is often shared between third parties, including data brokers, and sometimes sold to advertisers who target users with related products and services based on previous browsing activities. The university CSI-COP team, based within the Research Centre for Computational Science and Mathematical Modelling, not only seeks to educate internet users on how tracking technology works, but also raises awareness of online privacy issues.

The PICASSO award comes following a competitive shortlisting process which included nominations for global communications and technology companies and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), acknowledging the team behind CSI-COP who are actively helping to change the perception and reality of privacy.  

Assistant Professor, Dr. Huma Shah, from the Centre for Computational Science and Mathematical Modelling, and CSI-COP science lead said:

Winning a prestigious industry award in a category with worthy organisations such as Nokia, PwC, the ICO, and others provides recognises the valuable work being done engaging citizen scientists in the project. The CSI-COP team would welcome an opportunity to collaborate with the other eminent innovative privacy teams and stakeholders shortlisted in the same category, to improve and learn about protecting people’s data and privacy online.

As part of the CSI-COP team’s commitment to keeping members of the public’s personal data safe, they have delivered data privacy educational workshops across Europe and Israel. Find out more about CSI-COP on their news page


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Discover more about the Centre for Computational Science and Mathematical Modelling.

This project is funded by EU Horizon 2020 grant agreement 873169.