Heng Xu | College of Information Sciences and Technology
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Heng Xu

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Title(s):
  • Associate Professor of Information Sciences and Technology

Contact:
E324 Westgate Building
University Park, PA 16802
(814) 867-0469
Education:
  • Ph.D. in Information Systems, National University of Singapore, Singapore, 2001-2005

  • Certificate in Fashion Design, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore, 2003-2005

Biography:

Dr. Heng Xu teaches courses on security and risk analysis, integration of privacy and security, human information behavior, and organizational informatics. Her research themes emerge from her interests in the fields of information privacy, data analytics, information systems, human-computer interaction, social psychology and public policy. She is the co-director of Privacy + Analytics Lab (PAL), an interdisciplinary research group working on a diverse set of projects related to understanding and assuring privacy in different contexts, including location based services, social media, medical practices, and adolescent online safety.

She has authored or co-authored over 100 research papers on information privacy, security management, human-computer interaction, and technology innovation adoption. Her work has been published in prestigious outlets across different fields such as Business, Law, and Human-Computer Interaction, including Management Information Systems Quarterly, Information Systems Research, University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW), and many others.

She was a recipient of an NSF Career award (2010) and the endowed PNC Technologies Career Development Professorship (2010-2013). She has received a number of best paper nominations and awards at leading conferences such as CHI (Best Paper Award 2016 & 2015; Best Paper Honorable Mention Award 2014 & 2013), CSCW (Best Paper Honorable Mention Award 2015), International Conference on Electronic Commerce (Best Paper Nominee 2012), International Conference on Information Systems (Best Theme Paper runner-up in ICIS 2003), and many others.

During 2013-2016, Dr. Xu served as a program director for several interdisciplinary research programs at the National Science Foundation. Much of her work at NSF focused on bringing the social, behavioral and economic sciences to address major challenges in Big Data and Cybersecurity & Privacy. She has also served on a broad spectrum of national leadership committees including the National Privacy Research Strategy Forum (2014-2016), the Federal Cybersecurity R&D Strategic Plan (2016), and the National Academies Committee on Open Science (2017).

Research Interests:

Privacy + Analytics Lab (PAL) brings together researchers focusing on understanding privacy dynamics in the real-world population and integrating this understanding into technological designs and system development with a vision of making tech that matters. PAL researchers believe in the power of integrating social and behavioral research into technological designs and have extensive experience applying social science theories in the design of privacy enhancing tools to help users make informed privacy decisions. For example, through the application of the psychological control agency theory, PAL researchers established the principle of "More isn't always better" -- i.e., having more privacy control options is not always perceived to be "good" by users.  Such behavioral understanding has enabled the development of a suite of privacy enhancing tools at PAL. In the context of online social networks, PAL is one of the first group which theorized privacy from the non-individualistic perspective and proposed to empirically examine collective privacy concerns as a result of interpersonal interaction and social influence. PAL has been pioneering the concept of collaborative privacy management, examining how users could protect privacy by harnessing their peers' or friends' privacy knowledge and preferences to make informed privacy decisions together.

Publications:

SELECTED JOURNAL PUBLICATIONS

  • Gu, J., Xu, Y., Xu, H., Zhang, C., and Ling, H. (2017). Privacy Concerns for Mobile App Download: An Elaboration Likelihood Model Perspective, Decision Support Systems (94), 19-28.
  • Parks, R., Xu, H., Chu, C-H., and Lowry, B. P. (2017). Examining the Intended and Unintended Consequences of Organizational Privacy Safeguards Enactment in Healthcare: A Grounded Theory Investigation, European Journal of Information Systems (26:1), 37-65.
  • Jia, H., and Xu, H. (2016). Measuring Individuals' Concerns over Collective Privacy on Social Networking Sites, Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace (10:1), Article 4.
  • Eikey, E., Murphy, A., Reddy, M., and Xu. H. (2015). Designing for Privacy in Hospitals: Understanding the Gap between User Activities and IT Staff’s Understandings, International Journal of Medical Informatics (84:12), 1065-1075.
  • Xu, H. (2012). Reframing Privacy 2.0 in Online Social Networks, University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law (14:14), 1077-1102..
  • Xu, H., Teo, H. H., Tan, B.C.Y., and Agarwal, R. (2012). Effects of Individual Self-Protection, Industry Self-Regulation, and Government Regulation on Privacy Concerns: A Study of Location-Based Services, Information Systems Research (23:4), 1342-1363.
  • Smith, H. J., Dinev, T., and Xu, H. (2011). Information Privacy Research: An Interdisciplinary Review, MIS Quarterly (35:4), 989-1015.

SELECTED CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS

  • Wisniewski, P., Xu, H., Rosson, M.B., Perkins, D., and Carroll, J.M. (2016). Dear Diary: Teens Reflect on Their Weekly Online Risk Experiences, Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), San Jose, California. (Best Paper Award).
  • Jia, H., and Xu, H. (2016). Autonomous and Interdependent: Collaborative Privacy Management on Social Network Sites, Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), San Jose, California.
  • Zhang, B., and Xu. H. (2016). Privacy Nudges for Mobile Applications: Effects on the Creepiness Emotion and other Privacy Attitudes, Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW), San Francisco, California, 1674-1688.
  • Wisniewski, P., Jia, H., Wang, N., Zheng, S., Xu, H., Rosson, M.B., and Carroll, J.M. (2015). Resilience Mitigates the Negative Effects of Adolescent Internet Addiction and Online Risk Exposure, Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), Seoul, Korea, 4029-4038. (Best Paper Award).
  • Wisniewski, P., Jia, H., Xu, H., Rosson, M.B., and Carroll, J.M. (2015). “Preventative” vs. “Reactive:” How Parental Mediation Influences Teens’ Social Media Privacy Behaviors, Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW), Vancouver, Canada, 302-316. (Best Paper Honorable Mention).
  • Gu, J., Xu, Y., Xu, H., and Ling, H. (2015). Interaction Effects of Contextual Cues on Privacy Concerns: the Case of Android Applications, Proceedings of the 48th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), Kauai, Hawaii, 3498 - 3507. (Best Paper Nomination).
  • Wisniewski, P., Xu, H., and Chen, Y. (2014). Understanding User Adaptation Strategies for the Launching of Facebook Timeline, Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), Toronto, Canada, 2421-2430. (Best Paper Honorable Mention).
  • Shi, P., Xu, H., and Chen, Y. (2013). Using Contextual Integrity to Examine Interpersonal Information Boundary on Social Network Sites, Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), Paris, France, pp.35-38. (Best Paper Honorable Mention)

Research Keywords:

  • Privacy Informatics in Social Media
  • Adolescent Online Safety
  • Patient Privacy in Medical Practices
  • Fashion Analytics and Informatics
  • Statistical Modeling Approaches (e.g., structural equation modeling, multilevel analysis)