Aleecia McDonald

Aleecia McDonald

Scholar Title: Non-Residential Fellow, Center for Internet & Society

Department: School of Law

Colleges / Universities: Stanford University


559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305


Aleecia McDonald is a Non-Residential Fellow at Stanford’s Center for Internet & Society (CIS). Her research focuses on the public policy issues of Internet privacy, and includes user expectations for Do Not Track, behavioral economics and mental models of privacy, and the efficacy of industry self regulation. She co-chaired, and remains active in, the WC3’s Tracking Protection Working Group, an ongoing effort to establish international standards for a Do Not Track mechanism that users can enable to request enhanced privacy online.

Ms. McDonald’s decade of experience working in software startups adds a practical focus to her academic work, and she was a Senior Privacy Researcher for Mozilla (part-time, 2011-12) while working for CIS as a Resident Fellow (part-time, 2011-12). She served an internship at the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) while pursuing her Master of Science degree and holds a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University, where she studied online privacy as a member of the Cylab Usable Privacy and Security (CUPS) research laboratory. Her findings have been featured in media outlets such as the Washington Post, Ars Technica, and Free Press' Media Minute. She has presented findings in testimony to the California Assembly, and contributed to testimony before the United States Senate and the Federal Trade Commission.


Ph.D. Engineering & Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University, 2010

M.S. Public Policy and Management, Carnegie Mellon University, 2006

B.A. Professional Writing, Carnegie Mellon University, 1993