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Alessandro Acquisti

Professor of Information Technology and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University

Alessandro Acquisti is a Professor of Information Technology and Public Policy at the Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University. His research combines economics, decision research, and data mining to investigate the role of privacy in a digital society. His studies have spearheaded the economic analysis of privacy, the application of behavioral economics to the understanding of consumer privacy valuations and decision-making, and the investigation of privacy and personal disclosures in online social networks.

Alessandro has been the recipient of the PET Award for Outstanding Research in Privacy Enhancing Technologies, the IBM Best Academic Privacy Faculty Award, and numerous Best Paper awards. His studies have been published in journals across multiple disciplines, including Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Journal of Economic Literature, Management Science, Marketing Science, Journal of Consumer Research, and Journal of Experimental Psychology. His research has been featured in media outlets around the world, including The Economist, The New Yorker, The New York Times and New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Wired, and 60 Minutes. His TED talks on privacy and human behaviour have been viewed over a million times.

Alessandro is the director of the Privacy Economics Experiments (PeeX) Lab and the co-director of the Centre for Behavioural and Decision Research (CBDR) at CMU. He is an Andrew Carnegie Fellow (inaugural class), a member of the Board of Regents of the National Library of Medicine, and has been a member of the National Academies’ Committee on public response to alerts and warnings using social media and associated privacy considerations. He has testified before the U.S. Senate and House committees and has consulted on issues related to privacy policy and consumer behavior with numerous agencies and organizations, including the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the European Commission.

He has received a PhD from UC Berkeley and Master degrees from UC Berkeley, the London School of Economics, and Trinity College Dublin. He has held visiting positions at the Universities of Rome, Paris, and Freiburg (visiting professor); Harvard University (visiting scholar); University of Chicago (visiting fellow); Microsoft Research (visiting researcher); and Google (visiting scientist).

His research interests include privacy, artificial intelligence, and Nutella. In a previous life, he has been a soundtrack composer and a motorcycle racer (USGPRU).