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Alessandro Acquisti

Alessandro Acquisti is an Associate Professor of Information Technology and Public Policy at the Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University, a member of Carnegie Mellon CyLab, and a fellow of the Ponemon Institute. His work investigates the economic and social impact of IT, and in particular the economics and behavioral economics of privacy and information security, as well as privacy in online social networks. His research in these areas has been disseminated through journals (including Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Marketing Science, Marketing Letters, Information Systems Research, IEEE Security & Privacy, Journal of Comparative Economics, Rivista di Politica Economica, and so forth); edited books ("Digital Privacy: Theory, Technologies, and Practices.'' Auerbach, 2007); book chapters; leading international conferences, and international keynotes. His findings have been featured in media outlets such as NPR, NBC,, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the New Scientist, CNN, Fox News, and Bloomberg TV.

Alessandro has received national and international awards, including the PET Award for Outstanding Research in Privacy Enhancing Technologies and the IBM Best Academic Privacy Faculty Award. He is and has been member of the program committees of various international conferences and workshops, including ACM EC, PET, WEIS, ETRICS, WPES, LOCA, QoP, and the Ubicomp Privacy Workshop at Ubicomp. In 2007 he co-chaired the DIMACS Workshop on Information Security Economics and the WEIS Workshop on the Economics of Information Security. In 2008, he co-chaired the first Workshop on Security and Human Behavior with Ross Anderson, Bruce Schneier, and George Loewenstein. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Humboldt Foundation, the National Aeronautics & Space Administration, Microsoft Corporation, as well as CMU CyLab and CMU Berkman Fund.

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 (as intern), and for two years at RIACS, NASA Ames Research Center, in Mountain View, CA, with Maarten Sierhuis and Bill Clancey (as visiting student). At RIACS, he worked on agent-based simulations of human-robot interaction onboard the International Space Station. While studying at Berkeley, he co-founded with other fellow students a privacy technology company, PGuardian Technologies.

In a previous life, Alessandro worked as classical music producer and label manager (, as freelance arranger, lyrics writer, and soundtrack composer for theatre, television, and indy cinema productions (including works for BMG Ariola/Universal and RAI 3 National Television), and raced a Yamaha TZ 125 in the USGPRU national championship.

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, Florian Zettelmeyer, and Hal Varian and received a Master and a Ph.D. in Information Management and Systems from the University of California at Berkeley.

Acquisti's professional home page can be accessed at:


Ph.D. 2003, Information Management and Systems, UC Berkeley.