Quello Lecture with Alessandro Acquisti a Success

Posted on: November 12, 2013

2013 Quello Lecture to be presented by Alessandro Acquisti, Associate Professor of Information Systems and Public Policy at Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University
The future of privacy in the age of social media and augmented reality was the topic of the 2013 Quello Lecture, presented by Alessandro Acquisti, Associate Professor of Information Systems and Public Policy at Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), and co-director of CMU's Center for Behavioral and Decision Research.

The lecture, open to all MSU faculty, staff and students, took place Thursday, Nov. 14, from 6:15 to 7:15 p.m. in the University Club Heritage Room. A reception followed.

During the lecture, titled "Privacy in the Age of Augmented Reality," questions were raised about the future of privacy in an augmented reality world where online and offline data is expected to seamlessly blend.

Acquisti presented the results of a series of experiments connecting research on consumer privacy decision-making and research on privacy in online social networks. In particular, he discussed the feasibility of combining publicly available Web 2.0 data with off-the-shelf face recognition software for the purpose of large-scale, automated individual re-identification and whether current "notice and consent" approaches to privacy policy are adequate means for privacy protection.


He also highlighted the ability of identifying strangers online and offline based on photos made publicly available on social media and will illustrate the ability of inferring strangers' personal or sensitive information, such as their interests and social security numbers, from their faces by combining face recognition, data mining algorithms and statistical re-identification techniques.

Acquisti's studies have spearheaded the application of behavioral economics to the analysis of privacy and information security decision-making, and the analysis of privacy and disclosure behavior in online social networks.

He is the recipient of the PET Award for Outstanding Research in Privacy Enhancing Technologies and IBM Best Academic Privacy Faculty Award. He has testified before the U.S. Senate and House committees on issues related to privacy policy and consumer behavior. His findings have been featured in national and international media outlets, including The Economist, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Financial Times, Wired.com, National Public Radio and CNN.

The Quello Lecture, held each year since 2006, is hosted by the Quello Center for Telecommunication Management and Law, which is part of the Media and Informationdepartment. The lecture brings leading researchers from around the world to campus to speak on a variety of topics related to telecommunication management.

Established in 1998, the Quello Center for Telecommunication Management and Law is a center for research, teaching and the development and application of telecommunication management policy. It is named after James and Mary Quello, both MSU alums. James Quello was a commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission and, at the time of his death in 2010, he was the chairman of the Quello Center.

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