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About Sunny

Sunny is a researcher at Google where she spends most of her time focusing on digital-safety topics.

She previously led Google's Security & Privacy User Experience (UX) team for several years. In recent work, she and her collaborators have developed a framework for unifying at-risk user research, and they've investigated the digital-safety experiences of youth, online content creators, people being targeted online with hate & harassment, people involved with political campaigns, survivors of intimate partner abuse, people facing financial insecurity, and explored the technology experiences of women in South Asia. She has also worked to improve security warnings in the Chrome browser.

Prior to Google, Sunny was a Research Scientist at Intel Labs Seattle. While at Intel, she investigated how to use mobile technologies to encourage health & wellness — particularly physical activity and healthy sleep behaviors — and to help people be more aware of the privacy implications of sensing and inference systems. Sunny has also investigated peoples' understanding of and privacy concerns related to Wi-Fi use, designed and evaluated tools to help people be more aware of what they expose when they use Wi-Fi, examined privacy implications of location-enhanced technologies, and developed technologies to help older adults age in place.

Before Intel Labs, Sunny worked in Silicon Valley on Web design and usability. As a co-founder of Propel, she recruited and led their UX team to develop e-commerce storefronts and tools for merchandising, customer support, and site administration. Sunny also focused on usability research at Infoseek and where she worked on search, email, chat, message boards, registration, personalization, and more.

In her 20+ years as a human-computer interaction researcher and practitioner, Sunny has been a regular contributor to the academic literature. She has co-authored over 70 papers and articles in peer-reviewed venues and received several awards (see Publications). Sunny was recognized in 2022 with the Distinguished Alumni Award by the University of Washington's iSchool. She was elected into the ACM's SIGCHI Academy in 2020, and she currently serves as Chair of the SIGCHI Lifetime Practice Award subcommittee. She has been featured in the press, including WIRED and Scientific American Mind. Sunny received her Ph.D. in Information Science from UW. She is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (US), and a member of the Editorial Board for IEEE Security & Privacy magazine. 

Sunny's Google Scholar page (launches in new tab/window)

Sunny's page on (launches in new tab/window)

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