UCL Department of Security and Crime Science


Security and Crime Science Researchers received Best Paper Award at HICSS 2021 Conference

17 February 2021

Researchers from the Department of Security and Crime Science (Dr Ingolf Becker, Prof Paul Ekblom, and Dr Hervé Borrion) have won a Best Paper Award at the HICSS 2021.

Image of Best Paper Award Certificate

Researchers from the Department of Security and Crime Science (Dr Ingolf Becker, Prof Paul Ekblom, and Dr Hervé Borrion) have won a Best Paper Award at the HICSS 2021 (54th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences) conference, for their joint work with four other researchers from TRL Ltd, the University of Kent and the University of Surrey.

The award winning work is titled “Privacy in Transport? Exploring Perceptions of Location Privacy Through User Segmentation”, openly accessible for all at by clicking this link. The work was part of a recently completed EPSRC-funded research project ACCEPT (Addressing Cybersecurity and Cybercrime via a co-Evolutionary aPproach to reducing human-relaTed risks), which was led by Professor Shujun Li at Kent and involved a group of researchers from five academic disciplines (Computer Science, Crime Science, Business, Engineering, Behavioural Science) and seven research organisations including six universities and TRL Ltd. The paper’s abstract reads:

“Unanticipated accumulation and dissemination of accurate location information flows is the latest iteration of the privacy debate. This mixed-methods research contributes a grounded understanding of risk perceptions, enablers and barriers to privacy preserving behaviour in a cyber-physical environment. We conducted the first representative survey on internet privacy concerns, cyber and physical risk taking, privacy victimisation, usage of location sharing apps and transport choices in the UK with 466 participants. The responses segregated participants into four distinct, novel clusters (cyber risk takers, physical risk takers, transport innovators, and risk abstainers) with cross-validated prediction accuracy of 92%. In the second part of the study, we qualitatively explored these clusters through 12 homogeneous focus groups with 6 participants each. The predominant themes of the groups matched their clusters with little overlap between the groups. The differences in risk perception and behaviours varied greatly between the clusters. Future transport systems, apps and websites that rely on location data therefore need a more personalised approach to information provision surrounding location sharing. Failing to recognise these differences could lead to reduced data sharing, riskier sharing behaviour or even total avoidance of new forms of technology in transport.”

HICSS is one of major conferences in Information Systems with over 700 accepted papers and covers interdisciplinary topics in cyber security, privacy, and digital forensics. It was ranked as an A or A+ conference according to some conference rankings systems such as CORE 2018, GII-GRIN-SCIE (GGS), LiveSHINE and Qualis 2016. It is also ranked a Top 100 conference for all topics in computer science according to Microsoft Academic.

Dr Becker said: “Future systems will only be more connected. It will be ever more vital to design systems and services inclusively, allowing for secure and effective use by everyone. The pandemic has emphasised this need further. Our work explores people's risk perceptions and behaviours in both physical and cyber environments, and identifies diverse views that future systems should respect. The best paper award acknowledges the importance of our work, and we are grateful for the recognition.”