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Alessandro Acquisti Earns 2018 Cybersecurity Award from IEEE


Alessandro Acquisti, Professor of Information Technology and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy, has been awarded the 2018 IEEE Cybersecurity Award for Innovation. 

The IEEE Cybersecurity Award for Innovation recognizes individuals who are generating transformative cybersecurity capabilities and concepts, including game-changing ideas that have substantially advanced the practice of cybersecurity as well as novel approaches for designing and building systems. The award honors sustained leadership in cybersecurity research, policy, education, or enabling of best practices in implementation or engineering.

“It’s with great pleasure, and yet little surprise, to learn that Dr. Acquisti is the recipient of this prestigious award,” said Ramayya Krishnan, Dean of Heinz College. “It is a privilege working with Dr. Acquisti, and we are thankful for his leadership, knowledge and innovation in cybersecurity, policy and practice that he brings to our community at Heinz College.”

The selection committee awarded Dr. Acquisti for his groundbreaking work on the economics and behavioral economics of privacy. Acquisti’s work has advanced the application of economic methodologies to the study of privacy risks and trade-offs and has pioneered the application of behavioral economics to understand the hurdles individuals face in making privacy decisions.

“To be recognized by such accomplished experts—and to receive an award for the research we have conducted over the years here at Heinz College—is an incredible honor,” Acquisti said.

Acquisti serves as the director of the Privacy Economics Experiment (PeeX) lab at Heinz College, and the faculty director of CMU Risk and Regulatory Innovation Services Center, which is sponsored by PwC. His research investigates the economics and behavioral economics of privacy and privacy in online social networks. His studies have been published in leading journals across diverse disciplines, including Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Management Science, Journal of Economic Literature, Journal of Consumer Research, Marketing Science, as well as several edited books, book chapters, conference proceedings, and international keynote addresses.

In addition to this prestigious award, Acquisti has received the PET Award for Outstanding Research in Privacy Enhancing Technologies, the IBM Best Academic Privacy Faculty Award, and numerous Best Paper awards. He was one of the inaugural recipients of the Carnegie Corporation Fellowship. Acquisti has been a member of the National Academy of Science’s Committee on Public Response to Alerts and Warnings Using Social Media and Associated Privacy Considerations, and is currently a member of the Board of Regents of the National Library of Medicine.

Alongside Acquisti receiving the IEEE Cybersecurity Award for Innovation, Lujo Bauer, Nicolas Christin, Lorrie Cranor, Saranga Komanduri, Michelle Mazurek, William Melicher, Sean Segreti, Rich Shay and Blase Ur are the recipients of the IEEE Cybersecurity Award for Practice. Acquisti accepted the award at this year’s IEEE Secure Development Conference (IEEE SecDev) Conference in Cambridge, MA.