I am a PhD student in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington, advised by Yoshi Kohno.

I’m generally interested in the security and privacy-related needs and practices of populations during crises. Since April 2020, I have been running a survey about security and privacy opinions towards automated contact tracing to measure how public opinion changes over the course of the pandemic. Our most recent report can be found here.

You can email me at simkol at


Would You Rather: A Focus Group Method for Eliciting and Discussing Formative Design Insights with Children
Lucy Simko, Britnie Chin, Sungmin Na, Harkiran Kaur Saluja, Tian Qi Zhu, Tadayoshi Kohno, Alexis Hiniker, Jason Yip, and Camille Cobb. Interaction Design and Children (IDC) 2021.

Defensive Technology Use by Political Activists During the Sudanese Revolution
Alaa Daffalla*, Lucy Simko*, Tadayoshi Kohno, Alexandru G. Bardas. IEEE Security and Privacy (Oakland) 2021.
* co-first authors listed in alphabetical order.

COVID-19 Contact Tracing and Privacy: A Longitudinal Study of Public Opinion
Lucy Simko, Jack Lucas Chang, Maggie Jiang, Ryan Calo, Franziska Roesner, Tadayoshi Kohno
Report version 2.0, December 8, 2020.
Also see version 1.0, May 8, 2020
Not peer reviewed.

A Privacy-Focused Systematic Analysis of Online Status Indicators
Camille Cobb, Lucy Simko, Tadayoshi Kohno, Alexis Hiniker. Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium (PETS) 2020.

User Experiences with Online Status Indicators
Camille Cobb, Lucy Simko, Tadayoshi Kohno, Alexis Hiniker. ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) 2020.

Computer Security and Privacy for Refugees in the United States
Lucy Simko, Ada Lerner, Samia Ibtasam, Franziska Roesner, Tadayoshi Kohno. IEEE Security and Privacy (Oakland) 2018.

Recognizing and Imitating Programmer Style: Adversaries in Program Authorship Attribution
Lucy Simko, Luke Zettlemoyer, Tadayoshi Kohno. Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium (PETS) 2018.

CS/crypto activities for kids
With Camille Cobb, Anna Kornfeld Simpson, Ada Lerner, Eric Zeng, and Alex Takakuwa.

AwesomeBus is an interactive visualization of public transit in Seattle that allows Seattleites and visitors to explore bus routes. I worked on this project with Eric Zeng for our Data Visualization class in Spring 2016.


I wholeheartedly recommend all of these books. If you've read one of the books below and want to discuss it, or if you have a book to recommend to me, send me an email.

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea. Barbara Demick.
A Thousand Miles from Freedom. Eunsun Kim.
Escape from Camp 14. Blane Harden. (Also read Blane Harden's updated forward).
What is the What. Dave Eggars and Valentino Achak Deng.
A Long Way Gone. Ishmael Beah.
City of Thorns: Nine Lives in the World's Largest Refugee Camp. Ben Rawlence.
A New Odyssey. Patrick Kingsley.
Yesterday, Tomorrow: Voices from the Somali Diaspora. Nuruddin Farah.
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. Anne Fadiman.
Things Fall Apart. Chinua Achebe.
Americanah. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Half of a Yellow Sun. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Everything Good Will Come. Sefi Atta.