Arianna is a DPhil candidate at the University of Oxford, who has previously worked in software quality assurance. Her research involves studying dynamic consent as means to design engaging research practices and protect participant privacy. Arianna was 1 of 17 research snapshot presenters during the 2021 SPRITE+ showcase, and won the Best Poster Prize.
Some of Arianna’s publications include:
What was it like to work in software quality assurance?
Eye-opening. I hadn’t realised that I could be a full-time software developer and not be coding from 9 to 5. I learned how important testing is as part of the software development process, and how context is key.
Why did you decide to do a DPhil?
I absolutely did not want to spend any more time studying. But I came across a fully funded programme that took people from different areas of expertise and told them to learn from each other. I applied because it looked like an exciting opportunity to learn something new.
What attracted you to your research topic?
My research topic is cybersecurity, in particular data-protection and how to communicate about how data is used. I love my research topic because it is relevant and a lot of it is about challenging the status quo. For example, I can say no to a business asking me for my email address in-store, but that process is designed around a (very human) desire to please. Saying no to data-access should be just as easy as saying yes.
What do you feel everyone should know and implement based on your research?
If you are using personal data in any way, think about how you are going to feed back to the people whose information you are using. That’s it. The benefit for you is richer data-collection.
How did you become involved with SPRITE+?
My supervisor told me about this showcase, and when I saw that SPRITE+ was all about security, privacy, identity and trust in the digital economy I jumped at the chance to dig in and take part.
What was the experience like for you during the SPRITE+ Showcase?
I think that the showcase was an example of excellent practice. The mix of expertise from academia, industry and civil service meant I learned a lot. Hosting a digital poster session with people coming in and out was good practice and a lot of fun because I enjoy engaging with people. There were so many presentations that I couldn’t go to, but I was able to map out who to follow up with – and indeed I did! I had a fantastic conversation with someone directly because of the showcase.
What advice would you give to those who want to participate in similar events?
I speak to other postgraduates when I say - apply. Open up your bubble because you have something to say that people want to hear (or at the very least, bounce off of) and there’s no net negative. I think that you can only learn from an experience like this.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Yes! Thank you to everyone involved in organising and setting up this Showcase, it was superb. I would also like to acknowledge and thank my support network, because there’s no way I would be here without them.
Applications are open to individuals from academia and professional practice (non-academic) to attend an online sandpit on Digital Vulnerabilities in July 2021. Up to £160k of SPRITE+ funding will be made available to fund interdisciplinary projects.