Johanna T. Gunawan

Northeastern University, Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute

Hi – I’m Johanna, PhD candidate in Cybersecurity at Northeastern University, where I am incredibly lucky to be advised by David Choffnes, Woodrow Hartzog, and Christo Wilson. Previously, I wrote docs for Rapid7 and Akamai Technologies, and graduated from the ALIGN program with my M.S. in Cybersecurity.

My research spans UX, privacy, consumer protections, and law. At present, I’m focusing on deceptive design (dark patterns) and manipulative interfaces – I also kvetch about surveillance technologies and privacy erosion.

🖖 Outside of work, I’m usually chasing after three rambunctious kitties and one young corgi 🐱, hand-pleating different types of dumplings, and deep-diving into random topics (like the 1996 Mt. Everest disaster 🏔).


Mar 10, 2023 Our (Woody Hartzog, Evan Selinger, and myself) paper, “Privacy Nicks: How the Law Normalizes Surveillance,” will be published in the 2024 volume of the Washington University Law Review. Preprint now available on SSRN.
Mar 10, 2023 Now that all the travel documents are squared away, I’m thrilled to share that I’ll be working with Yixin Zou as a research intern this summer in the new Human-Centered Security and Privacy group at the Max Planck Institute for Security and Privacy (MPI-SP). Looking forward to experiencing the EU’s data subject rights first-hand and working with wonderful people in Europe. Please send me life in Germany tips and recomemndations!
Jan 30, 2023 More exciting CHI’2023 news – a dark patterns panel (Emerging Transdisciplinary Perspectives to Confront Dark Patterns) and SIG event (Dark Patterns and the Emerging Threats of Deceptive Design Practices) with many wonderful members of the dark patterns research community will be held in Hamburg this April! Come visit the panel on Monday, April 24 from 16:35-18:00, and join our SIG on Tuesday, April 25 from 16:35-18:00. More info in the CHI program.
Jan 16, 2023 We’re headed to Hamburg - our (Monica Kowalcyzk, Daniel Dubois, Dave Choffnes, Woody Hartzog, Christo Wilson, and myself) paper Understanding Dark Patterns in Home IoT Devices was accepted to CHI’2023! Preprint and more information to come, so stay posted.
Dec 6, 2022 Grateful to be awarded a scholarship to attend the 2023 Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS) conference. I’d originally been ready to attend back in March 2020, but the world shut down a week before the conference. Hope to see colleagues there in March next year.