Interview with Vasileios Vlachos

Interview with Vasileios Vlachos

Name: Vasileios Vlachos

Tell us a little bit about yourself

I am Assistant Professor in the University of Applied Sciences of Larissa, a small city between Athens and Thessaloniki and Senior Researcher in the Computer Technology Institute (CTI) of Patras, one of the most important research centers in Greece. Having spent most of my professional life at Universities (Technical University of Crete, University of Patras and University of Economics and Business in Athens), I feel great to be able to work on challenging projects that aim to solve difficult and novel problems. Data Privacy will be one of the most important issues for the years to come and right now the situation is not good. It is better in the EU than it is in the USA, but there is so much to be done – and soon.

What are you working on in the Privacy Flag project?

I am responsible for the algorithms that automatically analyze web sites and smart phone applications for possible “privacy unfriendly” behavior and inform our users accordingly. We are currently evaluating various techniques based on Artificial Intelligence and Big Data to identify privacy outliers and act as necessary. As more users participate in the Privacy Flag we get better results, based on the crowdsourcing intelligence principle we follow throughout the project. I think that the “wisdom of the crowd” is the silver bullet against the “you’re not the customer, you are the product” business models.


Tell us about the PrivacyFlag tool you are working on 

We are working hard to complete the Privacy Flag Observatory. The Privacy Flag Observatory is a web platform that provides a holistic overview of the internet privacy landscape. It will definitely help legislators, stakeholders, researchers, security professionals – but most importantly – normal users to evaluate the best technologies and practices from privacy perspective. It will help to identify and avoid insecure or obsolete technologies that, despite their popularity, are problematic. The Privacy Flag Observatory will be up and running very soon. Check it out!

What is your best privacy tip?

“Never use the same password twice!”