Brennan Schaffner

I am a 3rd-year PhD student in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Chicago. I am advised by Marshini Chetty in the Amyoli Internet Research Lab.

In my work, I aim to make the internet more fair and transparent with a blend of both qualitative and quantitative methods. I research ideas related to user empowerment, upholding user agency, and understanding/exposing manipulative designs. In addition to publishing my work at top HCI conferences, my work often has an added flavor of consumer protection. I write comments to regulatory agencies with evidence-based policy suggestions informed by my research.

I am currently working on projects related to the impact of platform design and recommendation systems on user-agency, platform moderation of user-generated content, and ethical data collection.


  • Submitted work to CHI’24
  • Spoke about my work with a journalist from The Wall Street Journal. [article]
  • Awarded Research & Personal Development Fund from University of Chicago Graduate Council for traveling to CHI’23
  • Accepted as panelist for CHI ’23: Emerging Transdisciplinary Perspectives to Confront Dark Patterns
  • CSCW ’23 paper picked up by UChicago news.
  • Served as Chair Assistant for CHI 2023 Privacy and Security Subcommittee
  • Paper accepted into CSCW ’23
  • Comments submitted to CPPA, FTC, and EDPB: May – Aug 2022
  • Paper accepted into CSCW ’22
  • Comment submitted to FTC: May 2021