"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice, there is." -Unknown


Bio: I am a Senior Lecturer in Cybersecurity and Privacy, School of Computing, Newcastle University, UK. I am currently an Academic Visitor at ETH Zurich Future Computing Lab (EFCL), Switzerland, and will join the Information Security Group (ISG) at RHUL, UK in September this year.

I work on sensing technologies on a wide range of sensors and platforms (mobile, IoT, building, agri-tech, medical, etc.), usable security and privacy, and security standardisation. My current research is on the security and privacy of Minority and Minoritized user groups across demographics (gender, nationality, age, etc.) and Female-oriented Technologies (Femtech). I work with W3C as an invited expert and am particularly interested in real-world multi-disciplinary projects and working with academia, industry and standardisation bodies.

I am an advocate for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) and particularly support women in STEM via outreach programmes and mentoring.

Highlights: I have been conducting award-winning research for years, some of my previous awards include:

  • UKRI PETRAS National Centre Strategic Research Fund, March 2021, £220K, Cyber Security and Privacy in Fertility Technologies (CyFer), 2022-2024.

    • This proposal is a collaboration between the Schools of Computing and Medical, Newcastle University, Durham University, and Umea University (Sweden).

    • Comments from the reviewers and selection panel: "Very highly praised proposal, both by the Peer Reviewers, and the Selection Panel: This is a clear, well-thought-out proposal. It has far-reaching potential benefits to women, and to industry, in particular. The team are entirely appropriate and have evidenced their specialist expertise via their publications. The issues which this proposal address around FemTech and privacy go beyond the 'normal' levels of privacy violation germane to IoT and cybersecurity, to a deeply intimate level of privacy. It is essential that IoT privacy controls can defend such privacy as a standard."

  • Winner/ team leader of The Kaspersky Lab Cyber Security Case Study Competition Hosted by The Economist on blockchain for e-voting, 2016.

  • Winner of Elevator Pitch best PhD Research Award in NCSC ACE-CSR, UK, 2016.

  • Runner-up of John Karat Usable Privacy & Security Student Research Award, SOUPS, USA, 2016.

Working from home during Covid-19

News:

2022:

May 2022: Our paper titled User Privacy Concerns in Commercial Smart Buildings, Harper, Mehrnezhad, Mace, has been accepted by the Journal of Computer Security, 2022.Apr 2022: Our paper titled: SenSig: Practical IoT Sensor Fingerprinting Using Calibration Data by Gray, Mehrnezhad, Shafik is accepted in SSR, co-located with Euro S&P. Apr 2022: Our paper titled: Are Our Animals Leaking Information About Us? Security and Privacy Evaluation of Animal-related Apps by Harper, Mehrnezhad, Leach is accepted in SSR, co-located with Euro S&P.Apr 2022: Between April 2022 to June 2022, I will be based at ETH Zurich as an Academic Visitor working with Dr Thyla van der Merwe; focusing on security and privacy standards and policies designed for female-oriented technologies; attending to the blind spots. We will be looking for ways to improve Fem-tech in order to enable women to use such technologies and improve the quality of their lives without risk and fear. If you wanna discuss this topic, let me know and we can meet in person or virtually!Mar 2022: See the latest news on my research around online tracking practices of websites and apps!Feb 2022: We have a new 3-years (Senior) RA post in cybersecurity and privacy as a part of our AGANCY project. Contact me for more info.Feb 2022: A list of MSc projects are provided here. Feb 2022: I have a fully-funded PhD position on cybersecurity and privacy of female-oriented technologies. Contact me if interested. Feb 2022: I have a post-doc position on IoT security and privacy. Contact me if interested. Feb 2022: Invited by DOS research centre, I gave a talk on my research on cybersecurity and privacy of marginalised and disadvantaged user groups. Feb 2022: Read my blog on Fem-Tech security and privacy at Newcastle University blog. Jan 2022: I am on the PC of SSR 2022. Consider submitting your work to it. Jan 2022: I am attending and presenting at Fertility 2022. It is always amazing to network across disciplines!Jan 2022: I am delighted to welcome my new RA to our group, Laura Shipp will be working on CyFer.

2021:

Dec 2021: I have an exciting post-doc post on IoT security. Contact me if interested. Also, share! Dec 2021: In collaboration with Durham University, we have won a UKRI grant for £3.5m (AGANCY) on protecting citizens online, more details to follow! Nov 2021: I am co-teaching CSC3632: System and Network Security this semester, if you have questions, please contact me. Nov 2021: Enjoy the online historical account of the thirty-four Annual International Seminars on the Teaching of Computing Science that were held here from 1968-2001, created by Prof Brian Randell!Oct 2021: Read our special issue on Security and Privacy in IEEE Communications Standards Magazine. Oct 2021: I gave a presentation on my recent work around the security and privacy aspects of ambient sensors from the user perspective in W3C TPAC. there was a fantastic discussion around our findings. See the minutes in here. Sep 2021: I have an RA (post-doctoral) position for 18 months on Security, Privacy, Trust and Bias in FemTech. Email me if interested. Aug 2021: Our paper titled: I feel invaded, annoyed, anxious and I may protect myself”: Individuals’ Feelings about Online Tracking and their Protective Behaviour across Gender and Country ? by Coopamootoo, Mehrnezhad, and Toreini has been accepted in USENIX Security 2022. Details to follow.Jul 2021: Our paper titled How Can and Would People Protect from Online Tracking? by Mehrnezhad, Coopamootoo, and Toreini has been accepted in PoPETs 2022. Details to follow.Jan 2021: I attended and presented at Security and Human Behaviour (SHB)2022. See the summary here, and video here. Jun 2021: I am glad to welcome Chris Dillon who is our new PhD student and will work on Blockchain in Agritech in collaboration with the Agriculture group. May 2021: I presented our new paper: Caring for Intimate Data in Fertility Technologies, by Mehrnezhad and Almeida in ACM CHI 2021. This paper has attracted international media e.g. Expoknews, Ny Teknik, European Hospital, Fastcompany.com, and Information Security Buzz.Apr 2021: Our paper titled On Secure E-Voting over Blockchain by, McCorry, Mehrnezhad, Toreini, Shahandashti, and Hao has been accepted by ACM digital threats: research and practice. Mar 2021: Our proposal on Fertility Technologies Security (CyFer) has been accepted by PETRAS. See the details here. Feb 2021: We have shortlisted and interviewed our applicants for the Agri-tech and blockchain studentship. The successful candidate will start in June 2021.Feb 2021: I am co-teaching CSC3124: System and Network Security this semester, if you have questions, please contact me. Feb 2021: A list of MSc projects are provided here.

For previous news, see here.