Award Rules

The PET Award is presented to researchers who have made an outstanding contribution to the theory, design, implementation, or deployment of privacy enhancing technologies. It is awarded at the annual Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium (PETS). A financial prize accompanies the Award, thanks to the generous support of Microsoft.


Any paper by any author is eligible for nomination, subject to the following conditions. Nominations are for any paper that appeared in a refereed journal, conference, or workshop with published proceedings. Eligible papers should have appeared in the period that goes from the day after the penultimate PET Award nomination deadline until the deadline for the present PET Award nominations, which will be approximately fifteen weeks before the forthcoming PET Symposium. Papers that have been presented at conferences for which the final proceedings have not yet been published are eligible in the year the presentation occurs provided the paper is otherwise reasonably available. The paper is also eligible in the year when it is published, if that is different.


Anyone may nominate a paper by sending an email message containing the following to the PET Award Chair(s): paper title, author(s), author contact information, publication venue, link to an available online version of the paper, and a nomination statement of no more than 500 words.

Award decisions

Well before the end of the eligibility period, the PETS Program Chairs select the PET Award Chair(s), who are responsible for forming the PET Award Committee, eliciting award nominations from the general audience and the PET community, and choosing a winner(s) among all received nominations.

The PET Award Committee must consist of at least 5 members. In order not to bias the nominations, the names of the Committee members will not be made public until the selection process has finalized.

At the close of nominations (between twelve and fifteen weeks before the PET Symposium), the Award chair(s) will begin the evaluation of all nominations and will notify the author(s) of all nominated papers. (If a good-faith effort to locate any author of a paper fails to yield a response prior to the time that winner(s) are chosen, that paper is deemed ineligible to win; nonetheless, it remains a nominated paper.) Eight weeks before the PET Symposium, the PET Award Committee will notify the winner(s). Typically two winners will be selected. However, the prize committee can instead select a single winner if it so chooses.

The winner(s) will be publicly announced when the award is presented at the PET Symposium. Winners must be present at the PET Symposium in order to receive the Award. This requirement can be waived only at the discretion of the PETS Advisory board.

Conflicts of interest with Award Committee members

The selection process will take place in two phases. In the first phase, each paper will be reviewed by three Award Committee members. Conflicts of interest in this phase will be dealt with as usual: Committee members will not be able to access any information related to the review process of papers with which they have a conflict. A small number of papers (between four and six) will be selected for the second phase. In the second phase all Committee members will discuss the remaining papers and select the winner(s) and runner(s)-up. Committee members who have a conflict of interest with any of the papers selected for the second phase will have to leave the Committee. If the Committee has at least 5 people total, it can go on without adding new members.

Conflicts of interest with Award Committee Chair(s)

If a paper co-authored by the Award Committee Chair(s) is nominated, the Chair(s) may decide to reject the nomination (or to accept it and leave the Committee, and then a new Chair(s) needs to be selected). If any of the nominated papers is not co-authored by the Chair(s) but still a conflict of interest for the Chair(s), then this paper will be handled out-of-band during the first phase (either by the non-conflicting Chair, or by a non-conflicting Committee member). If any of the papers selected for the second phase is a conflict of interest for the Chair(s), then the conflicting Chair(s) will step out of the selection process and will only continue to be involved with the organizational and logistic aspects of the Award. If necessary, a non-conflicting new co-Chair will be selected among the Committee who will have the final decision-making responsibility on the award and will be the spokesperson regarding the awarded papers.

Rules version: January 2012