Sebastian Benthall

Visiting Scholar,
Cornell Tech

Junior Research Scientist,
NYU Steinhardt MCC

PhD Candidate, School of Information
University of California at Berkeley

I'm a researcher with a multidisciplinary background in computer, data, and social sciences, business, and philosophy. My current research foci are privacy engineering and software assurance.

Current Research Roles


I'm a Junior Research Scientist working with Helen Nissenbaum on DARPA's Brandeis project. We are working on formal specifications of Contextual Integrity theory that are robust against the inferential threats to privacy posed by massive data collection.

Ion Channel

I'm also a data scientist at Ion Channel, a software supply chain intelligence startup. Check out this presentation of some of our cybersecurity work:


Security and Privacy

Empirical Social Science

Philosophy of Science and Technology



My research involves writing a lot of software.


In Fall 2013 I co-instructed a course on Open Collaboration and Peer Production with Thomas Maillart. It was aimed primarily at Masters students at the School of Information, fulfilling a Management requirement. My instruction was based mostly on my professional experience working in and managing open source software communities.

In Fall 2015 I co-organized a seminar on Superintelligence and the Social Sciences with Mahendra Prasad.


2016 - Began postdoctoral work (though ABD) at NYU/Cornell Tech in privacy by design under Prof. Helen Nissenbaum.

2016 - Joined Ion Channel as data scientist.

2011 - Began PhD Program at UC Berkeley's School of Information. Currently ABD.

2007 - 2011 : Worked in programming, management, and marketing in geospatial civic tech company, OpenGeo.

2007 - B.A., Brown University, Cognitive Science.

On the Web

bio blog twitter linkedin github slideshare


e-mail: spb413 at nyu dot edu