School of Computing

Staff Profiles

Dr Kovila Coopamootoo

Research Fellow


I am a Newcastle University Research Fellow (US equivalent of Assistant Professor) in Usable Privacy and Security - Evidence-Based Methods at the Secure & Resilient Systems (SRS) Group at Newcastle University.

Prior to that I was a Lecturer in Cyber Security at the University of Derby (Sep 2016-Apr 2017) where I led and taught MSc modules (the Cyber Security Research Practice module, mainly targeting research methods for cyber security and the Enterprise Security Management module) and the Cyber Security Undergraduate module.

Before that I was a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in the SRS Group, Newcastle University (Jun 2013 - Aug 2016), employed on the EPSRC Hyper-DoVe project (investigating privacy for vulnerable groups such as domestic violence survivors) and the European projects FutureID and PrismaCloud research projects (investigating usable privacy and security via mental models, cognition, emotion together with developing empirical methodology).

I researched for my PhD at Cranfield University, UK, with the thesis Effective Online Privacy Mechanisms with Persuasive Communication, via a scholarship through the UK EPSRC Visualisation of Other Methods of Expression (VOME) project & Cranfield University. I completed my MSc in Information Security at Royal Holloway, University of London with Distinction (part funded by the Royal Holloway International Excellence Scholarship) and my B.Eng (Hons) Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Mauritius, with First Class Honours.


Recent Publications:

***Sep 2020*** Paper accepted at ACM CCSKovila P.L. Coopamootoo, 2020. Usage Patterns of Privacy-Enhancing Technologies.

June 2020: Magdalene Ng, Kovila P.L. CoopamootooEhsan Toreini, Aad van Moorsel, Mhairi Aitken, Karen Elliott, 2020. Simulating the Effects of Social Presence on Trust, Privacy Concerns & Use Intentions in Automated Bots for Finance. Accepted for EuroUSEC'20.

June 2020: Laheem Khan, Kovila P.L. Coopamootoo, Magdalene Ng, 2020. Not Annoying the User for Better Password Choice - Effect of Incidental Anger Emotion on Password Choice. Accepted for HCI for Cybersecurity, Privacy and Trust, HCII'20.

Mar 2020: Mhairi Aitken, Ehsan Toreini, Peter Carmichael, Kovila Coopamootoo, Karen Elliott, Aad van Moorsel, 2020. Establishing a social licence for Financial Technology: Reflections on the role of the private sector in pursuing ethical data practicesBig Data & Society, 7(1).

Feb 2020: Highest Ranked Paper at USEC'20Kovila P.L. Coopamootoo, 2020. Dis-Empowerment Online: An Investigation of Privacy-Sharing Perceptions & Method PreferencesProceedings of AsiaUSEC'20, Financial Cryptography and Data Security 2020 (FC). February 14, 2020 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia Springer.

Feb 2020: Kovila P.L. Coopamootoo, 2020. Empathy as a Response to Frustration in Password Choice.  Proceedings of AsiaUSEC'20, Financial Cryptography and Data Security 2020 (FC). February 14, 2020 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia Springer.

Jan 2020: Ehsan Toreini, Mhairi Aitken, Kovila Coopamootoo, Karen Elliott, Carlos Gonzalez Zelaya, Aad van Moorsel, 2020. The relationship between trust in AI and trustworthy machine learning technologies. Proceedings of the ACM 2020 Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency.

My research interests are in human aspects of privacy, security & trust.

Human aspects of privacy & security: My research involves understanding users and their interaction with privacy and security systems. This includes designing and running lab and online studies to investigate user privacy and security, such as understanding attitude and drivers of behaviour (including emotional states, efficacy, fatigue, stress and cognitive effort), factors impacting the adoption and use of privacy enhancing technologies (PETs) and security mechanisms, and how the technology can be made more accessible and supportive of the human.

Trust: I investigate trust and perceived risks in adoption of FinTech, as well as the emotional dimension of trust. I also look into the dynamic relation of trust-privacy and the effect of social presence.

Evidence-Based Methods for Security and Privacy: I investigate the use of scientific methodology for cyber-security and privacy and in producing clear guidelines and tools for evaluating research quality. I have conducted a systematic literature review of evidence-based methods for cyber-security user-studies while Co-Investigating on a Research Institute in Science of Cyber Security (RISCS) project, as well as contributed to developing a toolkit for designing and reporting experiments in security and privacy.

Program Committee member or External Reviewer for 2020: International Workshop in Privacy Engineering (IWPE), ACM Computer-Human Interaction (CHI), Privacy-Enhancing Technologies Symposium (PoPETS).


  • Co-I on EPSRC SPRITE NetworkPlus Digital Technologies, Power & Control - Challenge Working Group (2020-2022) £50K
  • Co-I on EPSRC project FinTrust (2018-2021) EP/R033595/1 £1M
  • PI on Large Scale Representative Sample for Human Factors of Cyber Security (2017-2018) £13K
  • Co-I on RISCS grant for Evidence-Based Research (2016-2017) £42K 
  • Co-I on ACE-CSR grant for capability building (Psycho-Physiological LAB for Cyber-Security 2015-2016) £77K
  • Co-I on International Research Collaboration Award (2014-2015) £8.9K
  • Co-I on ACE-CSR PhD Studentship - Federated Identity Management (2013-2016) £110K