Darren is a Ph.D. Candidate in Communication Studies at the University of Michigan and Junior Affiliate Scholar at Stanford Law School‘s Center for Internet & Society. His work examines privacy, personal information, and trust, with applications for business strategy, innovation, marketing and advertising, and information law and public policy. Darren also works to develop social research methods that rely on computational techniques and/or networked information (sometimes affectionately referred to as "big data").
His dissertation project investigates the interests of firms and consumers when it comes to collecting information about individuals and how the use of this data impacts trust, attention, and autonomy, along with related business models. This work is motivated by issues surrounding the future of media and communications, digital content personalization strategies, and emerging information technologies. His research draws from a range of methods including surveys, experiments, focus groups and user studies, computational techniques, and analysis of online data.
Prior to joining the University of Michigan, Darren managed the Visualization Laboratory at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science & Technology and studied in the Institute of Communications Research, the College of Engineering, and the School of Art & Design, all at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2012, he was a Visiting Scholar at the School of Computer Science & Communication at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm.