Franziska Roesner

University of Washington
Computer Science and Engineering
185 Stevens Way, AC101
Paul G. Allen Center, Box 352350
Seattle, WA 98195-2350

Office: CSE 510, Lab: CSE 505

franzi (at)

I'm a fifth (and final!) year CSE Ph.D. student at the University of Washington. My research interests are in security and privacy. My Ph.D. work has focused on security and privacy for modern and emerging client platforms, specifically in the domains of third-party web tracking, permission granting in modern operating systems (such as smartphones), secure embedded user interfaces, and most recently, emerging augmented reality platforms.

I am on the academic job market: [Research Statement] [Teaching Statement] [CV]

My advisor is Tadayoshi Kohno, and I have also collaborated with David Wetherall, James Fogarty, as well as Helen Wang and others at Microsoft Research. I am a member of the UW CSE Security and Privacy Research Lab. I'm also affiliated with the UW Tech Policy Lab.

I have done internships at Google (2012), Microsoft Research (2010), and (2008 and 2009). I received my B.S. in Computer Science at the University of Texas at Austin in May 2008, and then spent a year teaching English at a high school in France. I received my M.S. in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington in June 2011.

I am the recipient of a Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship (2012) and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (2010).


TrackingObserver: A Browser-Based Web Tracking Detection Platform. [TrackingObserver's Homepage]
Franziska Roesner, Chris Rovillos, Alisha Saxena, and Tadayoshi Kohno. (Initial public release: December 3, 2013)

LayerCake: Application Embedding for Android. [LayerCake's Homepage]
Franziska Roesner and Tadayoshi Kohno. (Initial public release: July 26, 2013)

ShareMeNot (Extension for Firefox/Chrome). [ShareMeNot's Homepage] [BoingBoing, EFF]
Franziska Roesner, Chris Rovillos, Tadayoshi Kohno, and David Wetherall. (Initial public release: July 19, 2011)


Security and Privacy for Augmented Reality Systems. [Official Link] [Local PDF]
Franziska Roesner, Tadayoshi Kohno, and David Molnar.
Communications of the ACM (cover story), April 2014.

Sex, Lies, or Kittens? Investigating the Use of Snapchat's Self-Destructing Messages. [PDF] [Slides: PDF, PPTX]
Franziska Roesner, Brian T. Gill, and Tadayoshi Kohno.
18th International Conference on Financial Cryptography and Data Security. Barbados, March 2014.

Securing Embedded User Interfaces: Android and Beyond. [PDF] [Webpage] [Talk Video] [Slides: PDF, PPTX]
Franziska Roesner and Tadayoshi Kohno.
22nd USENIX Security Symposium. Washington DC, August 2013.

Operating System Support for Augmented Reality Applications. [PDF]
Loris D'Antoni, Alan Dunn, Suman Jana, Tadayoshi Kohno, Benjamin Livshits, David Molnar, Alexander Moshchuk, Eyal Ofek, Franziska Roesner, Scott Saponas, Margus Veanes, and Helen J. Wang.
14th Workshop on Hot Topics in Operating Systems (HotOS XIV). Santa Ana Pueblo, NM, May 2013.

User Interface Toolkit Mechanisms for Securing Interface Elements. [PDF] [Slides: PDF, PPTX]
Franziska Roesner, James Fogarty, and Tadayoshi Kohno.
25th ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST 2012). Boston, MA, October 2012.

User-Driven Access Control: Rethinking Permission Granting in Modern Operating Systems. [PDF] [Slides: PDF, PPTX]
Franziska Roesner, Tadayoshi Kohno, Alexander Moshchuk, Bryan Parno, Helen J. Wang, and Crispin Cowan.
33rd IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (Oakland 2012). San Francisco, CA, May 2012.
* Best Practical Paper Award.

Detecting and Defending Against Third-Party Tracking on the Web. [PDF] [Talk Video] [Slides: PDF, PPTX]
Franziska Roesner, Tadayoshi Kohno, and David Wetherall.
9th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI 2012). San Jose, CA, April 2012.

Comprehensive Experimental Analyses of Automotive Attack Surfaces. [Link to PDF] [NY Times, Slashdot]
Stephen Checkoway, Damon McCoy, Brian Kantor, Danny Anderson, Hovav Shacham, Stefan Savage, Karl Koscher, Alexei Czeskis, Franziska Roesner, and Tadayoshi Kohno.
20th USENIX Security Symposium. San Francisco, CA, August 2011.

Experimental Security Analysis of a Modern Automobile. [Link to PDF] [NY Times, BBC, Zeit, Slashdot]
Karl Koscher, Alexei Czeskis, Franziska Roesner, Shwetak Patel, Tadayoshi Kohno, Stephen Checkoway, Damon McCoy, Brian Kantor, Danny Anderson, Hovav Shacham, and Stefan Savage.
31st IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (Oakland 2010). Oakland, CA, May 2010.

Counting Dependence Predictors. [PDF]
Franziska Roesner, Doug Burger, and Stephen W. Keckler.
35th International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA 2008). Beijing, China, June 2008.

Late-Binding: Enabling Unordered Load-Store Queues. [PDF]
Simha Sethumadhavan, Franziska Roesner, Doug Burger, Stephen W. Keckler and Joel Emer.
34th International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA 2007). San Diego, CA, June 2007.


ShareMeNot: Balancing Privacy and Functionality of Third-Party Social Widgets. [Link to PDF]
Franziska Roesner, Christopher Rovillos, Tadayoshi Kohno, and David Wetherall.
USENIX ;login: Magazine. August 2012.


User-Driven Access Control: A New Model for Granting Permissions in Modern Operating Systems. [PDF]
Franziska Roesner. Advised by Tadayoshi Kohno and Helen Wang.
University of Washington, Computer Science and Engineering, Qualifying Examination Project. April 2011.

Counting Dependence Predictors. [PDF]
Franziska Roesner. Advised by Doug Burger.
The University of Texas at Austin, Tech Report #HR-08-08 (CS Undergraduate Honors Thesis). May 2008.
* UTCS 2008 Best Undergraduate Honors Thesis Award.


I work with high school student Alisha Saxena (July 2013 - Present). Previously, I worked with undergraduate Chris Rovillos on ShareMeNot and other web tracking topics (January 2012 - May 2013).

Teaching Assistantships

CSE 484: Undergraduate Computer Security (Winter 2013)
Instructor: Tadayoshi Kohno

CSE 564: Graduate Computer Security and Privacy (Spring 2011)
Instructor: Tadayoshi Kohno

Graduate Coursework

Distributed Systems (CSE 552): Autumn 2013, instructor Tom Anderson
Special Topics in Wireless and Mobile Systems (CSE 599N1): Winter 2013, instructor Shyam Gollakota
Ubiquitous Computing (CSE 599U): Winter 2012, instructor Shwetak Patel
Software Engineering (CSE 503): Spring 2011, instructor David Notkin
Human-Computer Interaction (CSE 510): Winter 2011, instructor James Fogarty
Computer Networks (CSE 561): Spring 2010, instructor David Wetherall
Operating Systems and the Web (CSE 599W): Winter 2010, instructor Steve Gribble
Design and Analysis of Algorithms (CSE 521): Winter 2010, instructor Paul Beame
Programming Languages (CSE 505): Autumn 2009, instructor Dan Grossman
Computer Architecture (CS 382M at UT Austin): Fall 2006, instructor Doug Burger

Education History

M.S. Computer Science and Engineering, University of Washington, 2009 - 2011.
B.S. Turing Scholars Honors Computer Science, University of Texas at Austin, 2004 - 2008.
B.A. Plan II Honors, University of Texas at Austin, 2004 - 2008.

There are a thousand thousand reasons to live this life, every one of them sufficient. (Marilynne Robinson)


Google Scholar

Other Interests

our two cats, travel, reading, photos, yoga, hiking, skiing, random recreational sports (soccer, softball, racquetball, innertube basketball), my hometown Austin, philosophy, French.


I love to travel. Alphabetically by country, I've been to:

Austria - Vienna (2008)
Barbados - Bridgetown (2011), Accra Beach (2014)
Belgium - Antwerp, Bruges (2009), Leuven, Brussels (2012)
Belize - Caye Caulker (2010)
Canada - Vancouver (1998/2008), Montreal (2009), Victoria (2013), Whistler (annually since 2011)
China - Beijing, Qingdao (2008)
Czech Republic - Prague (2008)
Ecuador - Quito, Otavalo, Cotopaxi, Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve (2008)
England - London (2009)
France - Arles (study abroad in 2006), Mulhouse (teaching English in 2008-2009), Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, Nice, Cannes, Colmar, Strasbourg, etc., Saint Martin (Caribbean, 2011)
Germany - often and many cities; I was born there.
Greece - Athens (2009)
Guatemala - Flores, Tikal, Antigua, Atitlan (2010)
Italy - Florence, Rome, Venice (2009)
Mexico - Cancun, Chetumal (2010)
Monaco - Monaco (2000)
Netherlands - Amsterdam (2009), Sint Maarten (Caribbean, 2011)
Peru - Cusco, Ollantaytambo, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, Lima (2013)
Puerto Rico - San Juan (2011)
Saint Kitts and Nevis - Saint Kitts (2011)
Saint Lucia - Saint Lucia (2011)
Spain - Barcelona (2009), Malaga, Granada, Sevilla, Cordoba, Salamanca, Madrid (all 2002)
Sweden - Stockholm (2011)
Switzerland - Basel (2008/2009)
Turkey - Istanbul (2009)
UAE - Dubai (2012)
USA - Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Washington D.C., Wisconsin
US Virgin Islands - Saint Thomas (2011)
Zimbabwe - Harare, Hwange National Park, Victoria Falls, Matopos National Park, Kariba (2012)

Last updated April 2014.