Hasso-Plattner-InstitutSDG am HPI
Hasso-Plattner-InstitutSDG am HPI

Usable Security and Privacy (Sommersemester 2019)

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Christoph Meinel (Internet-Technologien und -Systeme) , Dr. Anne Kayem (Internet-Technologien und -Systeme)

General Information

  • Weekly Hours: 4
  • Credits: 6
  • Graded: yes
  • Enrolment Deadline: 26.04.2019
  • Teaching Form: Seminar
  • Enrolment Type: Compulsory Elective Module
  • Course Language: English
  • Maximum number of participants: 10

Programs & Modules

IT-Systems Engineering MA
Data Engineering MA
Digital Health MA
  • APAD-Concepts and Methods
  • APAD-Technologies and Tools
  • APAD-Specialization
  • HDAS-Concepts and Methods
  • HDAS-Technologies and Methods
  • HDAS-Specialization


This seminar is centered on the observation that human factors play an important role in the proper use of security and privacy solutions. We will look at the problem from the perspectives of security and privacy experts, as well as everyday users. Our goal will be to find ways of understanding of how users interact with security and privacy systems particularly in terms of the mental models that influence usage decisions and choices. Understanding the difficulties and challenges users face, and why these issues occur is important in preventing misuse, and/or subversive activities due either to error or ignorance.

The seminar is open to students who are interested in learning about usability and user-interface problems related to security and privacy. No prerequisites are required.

A project-based approach will be used in which we will study how to design and conduct usability studies to critically analyse user issues in security and privacy systems. Project work will be conducted on a pre-agreed topic in teams of two.

Details on projects will be provided on 11 April 2019


No prerequisites are required.


Relevant literature will be provided to you.


Evaluations towards the final grade, will be based on presentations of results (mid-point and final), as well as a technical report of 6-8 pages (3000-4000words) on the findings of the study. Mid-point presentations will be split into three (3) sessions, each with a pre-defined goal as outlined in the project descriptions. Grading will occur as follows.

Grading Rubric Grade %
Presentations (#1, #2, & #3) 30%                                                  
Final Presentation 20%
Technical Report 50%


11.04: Introduction and Project descriptions

25.04: Methods of Experimental Design 

02.05: Mixed Methods Study Designs

09.05: Presentation #1 

30.05: Presentation #2

20.06: Presentation #3

11.07 & 18.07: Final Presentations

16.08: Technical Report Submission