October 7, 2021

Consumer Reports Names Three Digital Fellows for 2021-2022

Leah Fischman

Head of Partnerships & Programs at CR's Digital Lab, focusing on digital consumer protection and strategic innovation.

Yonkers, NY – Consumer Reports, with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, has named three public interest technology researchers as Digital Lab Fellows.

The Digital Lab Fellows program supports research to uncover and address emerging consumer harms. The 2021-2022 cohort of Digital Lab Fellows is focused on a range of digital marketplace issues from improving the security of connected home devices, to monitoring online ads for scams and manipulation, to advising consumers on the trustworthiness of new digital financial services.

“People should feel safe with the products and services that fill our lives and homes. That depends on dedicated public interest technologists keeping up with the pace of innovation to effectively monitor the digital marketplace,” said Ben Moskowitz, Director of the Digital Lab at Consumer Reports. “We are proud to support and work alongside these three Fellows, whose work will increase fairness and trust in the products and services we use everyday.”

“Threats to digital privacy and security are pernicious and widespread,” said Doron Weber, Vice President and Program Director at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “We are thrilled to partner with Consumer Reports to support these three talented Fellows in the creation of new tools and methodologies focused on consumer protection and to begin leveling the playing field against a steady onslaught of both visible and invisible consumer harms.” 

Introducing the 2021-2022 Digital Lab Fellows 

Franziska Roesner, Associate Professor, Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington – Franziska’s research focuses broadly on computer security and privacy for end-users of existing and emerging technologies. As a Fellow, she will develop research infrastructure to enable research of online advertising at scale, and collaborate with CR on studies of the online ads ecosystem that support consumer protection and education.

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Ruby Thelot, Graduate Student, Parsons School of Design – Ruby is an artist who studies online communities. As a Fellow, he will evaluate the practices of emerging financial services, including top crypto exchanges, and develop creative approaches to consumer education.

Danny Yuxing Huang, Assistant Professor, Center for Cyber Security and Center for Urban Science and Progress at New York University Tandon School of Engineering – Danny will co-create a strategy to improve the usability of IoT Inspector, scale up the user-contributor community, and attract more users and researchers toward this open data science. He is broadly interested in understanding and protecting the security and privacy of smart home IoT devices.

The Digital Lab, founded in 2019, was established to uncover and address digital consumer harms. It is a key driver of Consumer Reports’ work to build a fair and just marketplace that puts consumers’ interests first.

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