Thursday, January 29, 2015

New CMU Study Highlights Challenges of Complex Trade-Off in Privacy Decision-Making; “Privacy is not a modern invention, but a historically universal need,” says CyLab's Acquisti

In "Privacy and Human Behavior in the Information Age", a review published in the Jan. 30 special issue of the journal Science, CMU CyLab's Alessandro Acquisti and a team of fellow CMU researchers have detailed the privacy hurdles people face while navigating in the information age, and offered some perspectives on what should be done about privacy at a policy level.

In their review, Acquisti, professor of information technology and public policy at CMU’s H. John Heinz III College, and his co-authors, Laura Brandimarte and George Loewenstein, challenges a number of claims that have become common in the ongoing debate over privacy, including the claim that privacy may be an historical anomaly, or that people do not really care for data protection.

“Privacy is not a modern invention, but a historically universal need,” said Acquisti, the lead author. “In certain situations, individuals will care for privacy quite a lot and act to protect it, but advances in technology and the acceleration of data collection challenge our ability to make self-interested decisions in the face of increasingly complex tradeoffs.”

In the paper, the authors identify three themes prevalent in empirical research on privacy decisions and behavior: People are often uncertain about the consequences of privacy-related behaviors and their own preferences over these consequence; People’s concern, or lack thereof, about privacy is context dependent; and Privacy concerns are malleable, particularly by commercial and government influences.

Full Text of CMU Press Release  

Some Related Links

CyLab's Alessandro Acquisti on Why Privacy Matters at TEDGlobal 2013

CyLab's Alessandro Acquisti and Co-Authors Release 7 Year Study on Evolution of Facebook Privacy and Disclosure

CyLab Researchers Featured on CBS Sixty Minutes

CyLab's Alessandro Acquisti at TEDx Mid-Atlantic

CyLab's Alessandro Acquisti and Fellow CMU Researcher Christina Fong Win IAPP Privacy Law Scholars Conference Award

New Study Co-Authored by CyLab Researcher: Face Recognition Software and Social Media Result in Increased Privacy Risks

CyLab Researcher’s Study Shows Social Security Numbers Can Be Predicted from Publicly Available Information

Friday, January 9, 2015

CMU CyLab's Dr. Lorrie Cranor named ACM Fellow

Dr. Lorrie Cranor, 10th Annual CyLab Partners Conference (October 2013)
Lorrie Faith Cranor, a professor in the Institute for Software Research and director of the CyLab Usable Privacy and Security Lab, is one of 47 computer scientists named as 2014 Fellows by the Association for Computing Machinery.

Cranor is a professor of computer science and of engineering and public policy and is co-director of the Privacy Engineering masters program. She was cited by the ACM for her contributions to research and education in usable privacy and security.

Cranor has played a key role in building the usable privacy and security research community, having co-edited the seminal book Security and Usability (O'Reilly 2005) and founded the Symposium On Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS).

She has authored over 100 research papers on online privacy, usable security, and other topics, served on numerous boards, and has testified about privacy issues before Congress.

She joined the CMU in faculty in 2003 after seven years at AT&T Labs-Research.
ACM President Alexander L. Wolf acknowledged the advances made by Cranor and the other newly named ACM Fellows. “Our world has been immeasurably improved by the impact of their innovations,” he said. “We recognize their contributions to the dynamic computing technologies that are making a difference to the study of computer science, the community of computing professionals, and the countless consumers and citizens who are benefiting from their creativity and commitment.”

ACM will formally recognize the 2014 Fellows at its annual Awards Banquet in June in San Francisco.

See Also

A Decade Into Its Vital Work, Another Savory SOUPS, A Report from the 10th Annual Symposium On Usable Privacy and Security