School of Information Ph.D. student Jennifer King recently testified as an expert witness in a court case brought by the Federal Trade Commision against a company accused of deceptive and unfair business practices. Last week, the judge issued an $18.2 million verdict in the case, based in part on the strength of King’s testimony.
The court’s published opinion refers to King’s testimony 47 times, stating that “the Court finds the expert testimony of Jennifer King to be on-point and persuasive.”
The FTC filed the lawsuit against Commerce Planet, Inc., an online marketer of purportedly “free” Internet auction kits, which automatically charged unwitting consumers $59.95 a month for enrollment in an “online supplier” program for Internet auctions.
King’s testimony was based on her expertise in human-computer interaction (HCI) and user-experience evaluation. After conducting a user-centered evaluation of the company’s website, King testified that most people would be confused or misled by the site.
King is a third-year Ph.D. student in the School of Information, where she studies online privacy and how people make their privacy decisions. King’s research bridges the gap between legal analysis, technical approaches, policy-based solutions, and an understanding of the social implications of the challenges of privacy and surveillance.