Carnegie Mellon University
Alessandro Acquisti is an Assistant Professor of Information Technology and Public Policy at the H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management, Carnegie Mellon University, a partner at Carnegie Mellon Cylab, and a Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA). His work investigates the economic and social impact of IT, and in particular the interaction and interconnection of human and artificial agents in highly networked information economies. His current research focuses primarily on the economics of privacy and information security, but also on the economics of computers and AI, agents economics, computational economics, ecommerce, cryptography, anonymity, and electronic voting. His research in these areas has been disseminated through journals, book chapters, and leading international conferences. Prior to joining CMU Faculty, Alessandro Acquisti researched at the Xerox PARC labs in Palo Alto, CA, with Bernardo Huberman and the Internet Ecologies Group; at JP Morgan London, Emerging Markets Research, with Arnab Das; and for two years at RIACS, NASA Ames Research Center, in Mountain View, CA, with Maarten Sierhuis and Bill Clancey. At RIACS, he worked on agent-based simulations of human-robot interaction onboard the International Space Station. In 2000 he co-founded PGuardian Technologies, Inc., a provider of Internet security and privacy services, for which he designed two currently pending patents. Alessandro has received national and international awards, including the 2005 PET Award for Outstanding Research in Privacy Enhancing Technologies and the 2005 IBM Best Academic Privacy Faculty Award. He is member of the program committees of various international conferences and workshops, including ACM EC 06, PET 06, WEIS 06, ETRICS 06, WPES 05, LOCA 05, QoP 05, and the Ubicomp Privacy workshop at Ubicomp 2005. In a previous life, Alessandro worked as classical music producer and label manager (PPMusic.com), arranger, lyrics writer (BMG Ariola/Universal), and soundtrack composer for theatre, television (RAI National Television), and indy cinema productions. Alessandro Acquisti has lived and studied in Rome (Laurea, Economics, University of Rome), Dublin (M.Litt., Economics, Trinity College), London (M.Sc., Econometrics and Mathematical Economics, LSE), and in the San Francisco bay area, where he worked with John Chuang, Doug Tygar, and Hal Varian and received a Master and a Ph.D. in Information Management and Systems from the University of California at Berkeley.
In this podcast, participants discuss a trend toward more data disclosure that may cause users to become desensitized to privacy breaches.