The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Developing Persistent Personalized Privacy and Online Deception Awareness


The initial optimism about the positive potentials of the Internet and social media has given way to concerns that people are being manipulated through the constant harvesting of personal information and through the control over the information they see online (based on the categories they are classified into). Indeed, speaking at the Web Summit technology conference in Lisbon, Tim Berners-Lee listed some of the current problems of the Web: fake news, privacy issues, collection and abuse of personal data; and the way people are profiled and then manipulated.

Even though online users in general report a high concern for their privacy, they tend to have a privacy-compromising online behavior. This privacy-compromising behavior is not accidental in nature and is often the result of crafty and sly manipulation of the users by deceivers with malicious objectives. Online manipulation can be viewed as the culmination of a three-stage cycle starting with data collection, then user profiling, and finally malicious personalisation (as a form of manipulation). While security awareness plays a major role in the process of information security, to be efficient, it must remain in the backdrop of the user’s mind.

The goal of this tutorial is (1) to provide the attendees with an understanding of the landscape of online deception, (2) highlight why AI is the perfect vehicle to provide persistent personalized privacy and online deception awareness and (3) detail the possible AI research venues.

Outline of the Tutorial

Part 1: Introduction (understanding the landscape of online deception)

  • Online Social Networks and their impact on Privacy

  • What is privacy anyway? And why is it important?

  • Online deception: strategies and techniques

Part 2: How is AI used to counter online deception, and why this is not enough

  • Common Online deception attacks and their common AI-based countermeasures

    • Misinformation attack

    • Social-bots attack

    • Sybil attack

    • Trolling attack

  • Why a technical approach is not enough – the role of the user

    • Factors and Cognitive Biases that affect the user

    • The importance and challenges of user awareness

Part 3: Rethinking the role of AI (to provide personalized awareness)

  • The three-stages of online deception: data collection, user profiling and malicious personalisation

  • How AI can be used for personalized privacy awareness (as a countermeasure to data collection)

    • Privacy nudges – Personalized Privacy Awareness

    • Challenges and possible research venues

  • How AI can be used for personalized deception awareness (as a countermeasure to malicious personalisation)

    • Deception nudges – Personalized Manipulation Awareness

    • Challenges and possible research venues

Target Audience

This tutorial is targeted at researchers working in security and various fields of AI, such as: Intelligent Tutoring Systems, Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning.

No prerequisite knowledge is expected from attendees.

Tutorial material

Slides of the tutorial.


Esma Aïmeur

Contact information


Phone Number: +1 (514) 343 6794

Postal Address: CP. 6128. Succ. Centre-Ville, Montréal Québec, Canada H3C 3J7

Short Biography

Esma Aïmeur is a Professor at the Department of Computer Science at University of Montréal. She is the Director of the Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity laboratory. She works on privacy and security, applying artificial intelligence techniques to manage personal data in e-Learning, e-commerce and medicine. Her most recent research focuses on online deception, the ethics of artificial intelligence, social networks, security awareness, recommender systems, and privacy preserving. She was Program Chair of the 24 World Wide Web Conference 2016 workshops, in 2017, she has co-chaired MCETECH Conference on e-Technologies. In 2019, she has co-chaired the "Privacy Fairness and Transparency" track of the ACM UMAP conference. She is currently co-editor of the International Journal of Privacy and Health Information Management, associate editor for IEEE Transactions on Big Data and for Artificial Intelligence for Human Learning and Behavior Change.

She has given two seminars on the subject of deception respectively entitled “The Subtle Art of Online Deception” at Carnegie Mellon University, USA in 2018, and “Online Deception in the Age of Exposure” at University of Hawaii at Manoa, United States, in 2019. She also gave a tutorial on Personalisation and privacy issues at the UMAP conference in Singapore in 2018.

Hicham Hage

Contact information


Phone Number: +961 (9) 208 741

Postal Address: P.O.Box: 72, Zouk Mikael, Zouk Mosbeh, Lebanon

Short Biography

Hicham Hage is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the Department of Computer Science, Notre Dame University – Louaize. He holds a Ph.D. in computer Science from the Université de Montréal, where he was part of the HERON laboratory, which conducts multidisciplinary studies in the fields of artificial intelligence, cognitive science, education, knowledge management and e-commerce.

In addition to his academic experience, Dr. Hage has several years of professional experience in software design and development, and in IT management.

E-learning, Intelligent Tutoring Systems, Recommender Systems, Data Mining, and Privacy constitute his principal research interests.