Johanna T. Gunawan

Northeastern University, Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute


Hi – I’m a PhD candidate in Cybersecurity at Northeastern University, advised by David Choffnes, Woodrow Hartzog, and Christo Wilson. Starting July 2024, I’ll be an Assistant Professor of CS and Law at the Maastricht University Law and Tech Lab.

My research spans UX, privacy, consumer protections, and law. At present, I’m focusing on dark patterns and manipulative interfaces across multiple contexts – I also study surveillance technologies and privacy erosion.

During my PhD, I’ve been fortunate to intern in advocacy and industry at Common Sense Media’s Privacy Program and Vimeo’s Governance, Risk, Compliance, and Privacy teams, as well as conduct summer research with Yixin Zhou at the Max Planck Institute of Security and Privacy.

Previously, I wrote docs for Rapid7 and Akamai Technologies, and earned my M.S. in Cybersecurity as an ALIGN Scholar and B.A. in Political Science & International Affairs at Northeastern University.


May 01, 2024 Looking forward to seeing international colleagues in May at CHI’24 (for a workshop I’m co-running) in Honolulu, ConPro’24 in San Francisco, and PLSC’24 in Washington, D.C. Lots to present and lots to learn from others – see you there!
Jan 01, 2024 Calling all dark patterns (and adjacent) scholars: join our CHI’24 workshop, Mobilizing Research and Regulatory Action on Dark Patterns and Deceptive Design Practices! The CFP for short position papers and general attendance statements is open, with submissions due February 14, 2024 AoE. The workshop will be delivered in hybrid format, with in-person attendees in Honolulu for the main CHI conference.
Dec 18, 2023 Successfully proposed my thesis last week, so I’m now happy to share that I’ll be joining the Maastricht University Law and Tech lab as an Assistant Professor in CS and Law in July 2024! Thank you to my wonderful committee for thoughtful feedback and all who attended.
Sep 22, 2023 Thankful to have attended PrivaCI on an NSF Student Travel Grant. I learned so much from the brilliant work presented; thank you to the organizers for a fantastic event!
Aug 28, 2023 Wrapped up my internship at MPI-SP and left Germany! Looking forward to continuing our project remotely and being back home in Boston.

latest posts