Shruti Sannon, PhD
Social Scientist and Mixed Methods Researcher
I’m a social scientist with 8+ years of experience in human-computer interaction (HCI) and social computing. My research focuses on improving privacy, safety, accessibility, and inclusion on digital platforms. I use a range of qualitative and mixed methods in my work, including interviews, ethnographies, field work, content analyses, surveys, and experiments.
Currently, I’m a postdoctoral Computing Innovation Fellow at the University of Michigan School of Information (UMSI) where I explore people’s needs and challenges around using social media and employment platforms, focusing on users with disabilities. In 2021, I received my PhD in Communication from Cornell University, where I was co-advised by Dr. Dan Cosley and Dr. Natalie Bazarova.
My work has been published in a number of leading social computing and HCI venues, including the proceedings of the ACM conferences on Human-Computer Interaction (CHI) and Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW).
I’m also fortunate to have received several competitive grants to fund my work, including a Computing Innovation Fellowship, a Microsoft Research Dissertation Grant, a Cornell University Center for the Study of Inequality Grant, and a Cornell Fellowship.
Before Cornell, I worked as a Research Associate on issues of Internet governance and technology policy at the Governance Lab at New York University, where I also earned a Master of Arts in Communication. Before academia, I worked in consumer research, where I developed research-based communications strategies for multinational brands such as Coca-Cola and American Express.
You can email me at sannon [at] umich [dot] edu, or tweet me @shsannon.
March 2023: Two papers and one case study at CHI this year! The first paper explores the challenges faced by disabled content creators and activists on social media, including around algorithms, accessibility, and harassment. The second paper uses photovoice — a visual, participatory method — to understand people’s perceptions of safety and surveillance in Eastside Detroit. The case study provides a guide to setting up public-facing exhibitions and events based on participatory research methods.
November 2022: Really pleased that both my papers received awards at CSCW. My literature review on privacy research with marginalized populations received an Honorable Mention (top 3% of all papers), and my paper on the experiences of disabled gig workers received a Diversity and Inclusion award.
September 2022: Two papers published at CSCW! The first paper centers the experiences of disabled workers in the gig economy, and highlights the challenges and inequalities they face. The second paper is a literature review that examines what we currently know about privacy research with marginalized groups, and suggests several future directions for this rapidly growing research area.
September 2022: Serving as Associate Chair for CHI 2023! Looking forward to getting a glimpse behind the scenes =)
May 2022: Excited to attend CHI (virtually) and present my work on workers’ experiences with privacy and surveillance in the gig economy.
April 2022: I’m co-organizing the Workshop on Inclusive Privacy and Security at Usenix SOUPS, which explores the privacy needs of vulnerable populations. I also served as AC for DIS2022.
Jan 2022: New year, new paper! My research on creating a more inclusive gig economy was just accepted at CSCW 2022.
Dec 2021: Ending the year with a CHI 2022 acceptance! The paper presents a cross-comparative analysis of the many privacy and surveillance issues across the gig economy (including freelancing, crowdwork, ridesharing, and delivery services). The paper also includes a set of guiding questions to help researchers, designers, regulators, and workers evaluate the privacy implications of current and future work platforms.
July 2021: I’m excited to have been awarded a Computing Innovation Fellowship! I’ll be joining the University of Michigan School of Information as a Postdoctoral Fellow to continue my research on marginalization in the gig economy, working alongside Dr. Tawanna Dillahunt in the Social Innovation Group.
June 2021: New paper published in Social Media + Society! My coauthors, Brooke Duffy, Annika Pinch, Megan Sawey, and I show how creative workers on social media face multiple, nested forms of precarity across three levels: 1) markets, 2) industries, and 3) platform features and algorithms.