Dr. Maritza Johnson aims to make it easier for people to handle the security and privacy decisions they face in their daily lives. Over the past 10 years her work has shifted from understanding the shortcomings of user interfaces to changing how organizations make decisions about data collection, storage, use, and deletion. Always keeping in mind the most important part: designing systems that provide value without leaving people feeling bamboozled.

Maritza has worked as a user experience researcher on identity, and security and privacy features at Google, and as a technical privacy manager at Facebook. In 2018, she co-created a usable privacy and security course for the UC Berkeley's Master of Information and Cybersecurity program.

Her academic experience includes a postdoc at UC Berkeley where she worked on mobile device permission systems with Professor David Wagner. She completed her PhD in computer science at Columbia University with Professor Steve Bellovin and wrote her dissertation on end-user access control with a focus on Facebook privacy settings.


I led a two-week immersive research trip in India while I was at Google. We conducted usability studies, intercepts in public spaces, one-on-one home interviews, and interviews with Android sellers in Mumbai and Pune.

With my co-authors, I researched the difficulties people have managing Facebook privacy settings. Read about how we measured the problem. Read about our follow-up work to understand people's concerns about sharing content to various audiences.

I've also worked on mobile permissions and usable file access control. Check out my Google Scholar Profile for a complete list of my publications.

In 2017, I taught Software Engineering and Programming II in Java at University of San Diego.


I'd love to hear from you. Sending an email is the best way to reach me. You can also find me on Twitter, usually talking about privacy.

Email: maritzaj@gmail.com
Twitter: @maritza_johnson