Live streaming: There will be a live stream this year for people who are unable to attend. Although we know that this can't provide the full value of in-person interactions and discussions that attending PETS does, we hope that following along and asking questions remotely will be useful. The link to the stream will show up here and on the @PET_Symposium twitter account.

Live stream:


Monday July 23

1:30 to 6:30 Registration (Aula 1)

2:00 – 6:00 pm OPERANDI 2018: Open Day for Privacy, Transparency and Decentralization

7:00 – 9:00 pm Joint OPERANDI / PETS Welcome Reception


Tuesday, July 24

8:30 Registration (Aula 1)

9:30 Opening Remarks [video, slides]

10:00 Tracking (Chair: Gunes Acar)

11:00 Break

11:30 PETS Keynote Address — Alan Mislove (Chair: Damon McCoy)

Targeted advertising: Privacy threats and opportunities [video]

Abstract: Advertising now funds most popular web sites and internet services: companies including Facebook, Twitter, and Google all provide most of their services for free, in exchange for collecting data from their users. One of the primary explanations for the success of these advertising platforms is that they have leveraged this data to provide the ability for advertisers to target ads to platform users in a myriad of ways. For example, advertisers can now request that their ads be shown to complex combinations of users based on behaviors, demographics, interests, data broker-derived attributes, and even personally identifiable information (PII). In this talk, I provide an overview of the state-of-the-art in targeted advertising, take a critical look at how these targeted advertising services can be misused, and demonstrate how targeted advertising offers the opportunity to actually increase the transparency of advertising systems.

Bio: Alan Mislove is an Associate Professor, an Associate Dean, and the Director of Undergraduate Programs at the College of Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University, which he joined in 2009. Prof. Mislove’s research lies at the intersection of internet measurement, security, and privacy. He is interested in understanding how real-world systems are used and abused, and the impact that these systems are having on end users' security and privacy. His work comprises over 50 peer-reviewed papers, has received over 10,000 citations, and has been supported by over $5M in grants from government agencies and industrial partners. He is a recipient of an NSF CAREER Award (2011), a Google Faculty Award (2012), the ACM SIGCOMM Test of Time Award (2017), the USENIX Security Distinguished Paper Award (2017), the NDSS Distinguished Paper Award (2018), the IEEE Cybersecurity Award for Innovation (2017), and his work has been covered by the Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and the CBS Evening News.

1:00 Lunch

2:30 Usability, HCI, Policy (Chair: Matthew Wright)

3:30 Mini-break

3:45 Censorship Resistance, Fingerprinting (Chair: Nick Hopper)

4:45 Break

5:15 Messaging (Chair: Jaap-Henk Hoepman)


Wednesday, July 25

10:00 Analytics (Chair: Aaron Johnson)

11:00 Break

11:30 Town Hall [slides]

1:00 Lunch

2:30 Anonymization, Differential Privacy (Chair: Catuscia Palamidessi)

3:30 Mini-break

3:45 Anonymous communications (Chair: Steven Murdoch)

4:45 Break

5:15 Tracking (Chair: Narseo Vallina Rodriguez)

8:00 pm PETS Banquet at La Brasserie FLO, Jonqueres, 10 (route from the venue)


Thursday, July 26

10:00 Blockchain (Chair: Alptekin Küpçü)

11:00 Break

11:30 Crypto (Chair: Ian Goldberg)

12:40 Lunch

2:30 Attacks (Chair: Claudia Diaz)

3:40 Break

4:10 Rump Session (Chair: Roger Dingledine)

6:00 Closing and Awards

7:00 Caspar Bowden PET Award Reception at Jardí de l’Ateneu Barcelonès (route from the venue, supported by Comissionat de Tecnologia i Innovació Digital)


Friday, July 27 — HotPETs

9:15 Opening Remarks (Tariq Elahi) [video]

9:30 Deus ex ML (Chair: Marc Juarez)

10:50 Break

11:15 HotPETs Keynote — Joris van Hoboken (Chair: George Danezis) [video]

Boon or Bane? PETs after the GDPR

Abstract: The GDPR has changed the privacy landscape significantly. It has further established European data privacy regulation as a global standard, billions are spent on compliance, and litigation by civil society is putting pressure on enforcement. But what are the most important changes from a PETs perspective? How does the GDPR impact compliance and decision making about privacy in organizations? And what expectations for PETs can in relation to its enforcement?

Bio: Joris van Hoboken (1978) is Professor of Law at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB) and a Senior Researcher at the Institute for Information Law (IViR), Faculty of Law, University of Amsterdam. At VUB, he is appointed to the Chair ‘Fundamental Rights and Digital Transformation’, established at the Interdisciplinary Research Group on Law Science Technology & Society (LSTS), with the support of Microsoft. Van Hoboken works on the intersection of fundamental rights protection (data protection, privacy, freedom of expression, non-discrimination) and the governance of platforms and internet-based services. Previously, Van Hoboken was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Information Law Institute (ILI) at New York University. Van Hoboken obtained his PhD from the University of Amsterdam on the topic of search engines and freedom of expression (2012) and has graduate degrees in Law (2006) and Theoretical Mathematics (2002). He is a regular speaker at international events and conferences and has conducted research for the European Commission, ENISA, UNESCO and Open Society Foundations.

12:30 Lunch

2:00 No country for “old” protocols (Chair: Roger Dingledine)

2:50 Break

3:10 [Un]deniable communication protocols (Chair: Cecylia Bocovich)

4:00 Ice Cream Break

4:20 Balancing privacy and evidence (Chair: Aaron Johnson)

5:10 Closing remarks and Best talk award


Saturday, July 28


We will go to Montserrat to do the PETS 2018 Hike! Montserrat is a very special place in Catalonia, a mountain 1 hour and 15 minutes away from Barcelona (by car or bus) where many people do hikes, climbing or other mountain sports and activities.

You can find more information about Montserrat here:

We'll meet the bus in Plaça de Catalunya, in front of the Hard Rock Cafe at 9:00 am sharp. If you're late, you will miss the bus.

We will do the hike called "la ruta de les ermites" (in English: the route of the hermitages). It is 4 hours of walking but we'll do some stops for breakfast, lunch, and to rest. You can see the path and some pictures here: Food will be provided, but you will carry your own. Bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and a hat. Wear sturdy shoes.

There is a cable car that goes up or down the mountain at about the half-way point of this hike. If you don't want to do the entire hike, you can do the first part and then take the cable car down. It is also possible to take the cable car up and meet the main hike at the half-way point. But if you do it this way, there will not be food transported for you to the top.

After the Hike, we can also do a cultural visit to the Benedictine abbey, and afterwards we'll take the train back to the city.

All activity is covered by the PETS Symposium except the train to go back to town (12.15€), and the cable car (7€ each way) if you want to take it. You can come back whenever you want.

If you're joining us for the hike, you need to register at the registration desk.